One of the biggest real estate bidding wars is taking place right under our noses, but not in the usual sense of the term. After Amazon announced plans for developing a second headquarters, cities have been scrambling to sell the corporate super power on their space. The deadline for proposals was mid-October, but Amazon remains ‘open’ to all proposals. In the meantime, each locale is gathering their best and brightest to prove themselves worthy of calling themselves the giant’s second home.
Home Turf Perks
You might be asking yourself what’s in it for the city that homes the retail and tech giant. Hosting will likely provide an economic boom to the headquarters surrounding area as well as a surplus of job opportunities for locals.
Amazon has plans to invest over 5 billion dollars in the construction project. The lucky winner can also expect as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs opened up to their constituents. The company has every intention of building HQ2 to be an equal counterpart to the current Seattle campus. According to Amazon, “In addition to Amazon’s direct hiring and investment, construction and ongoing operation of Amazon HQ2 is expected to create tens of thousands of additional jobs and tens of billions of dollars in additional investment in the surrounding community.” That’s a lot of incentive.
It’s not all roses though. The cost of living, specifically the housing market, will spike with the arrival of the next compound. In addition, locals can expect more traffic congestion. The landscape will change dramatically for wherever they finally land, but the boost to the economy and job market should outweigh the cons.
Who’s in the Ring?
If you are wondering if your metro made it on the shortlist – the short answer is probably. Amazon announced almost 240 proposals they are currently considering throughout North America. The hub is expected to land in a major metropolitan area with cities like Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Toronto, Austin and Boston repeatedly appearing as best guesses for where it might ultimately fall.
It’s hard to say precisely what they are looking for, but here are a few estimations. Amazon will need a place with a large population and infrastructure that can accommodate their estimated employment numbers and construction needs. The location needs to appeal to the employees Amazon wants to hire – think tech-savvy intellectuals at the top of their game, but that doesn’t eliminate a ton of options.
Geekwire explains that “Amazon is looking for a metro area with more than 1 million people, quality transit options, and incentives from local governments. Those could come in the form of tax credits and exemptions, relocation and workforce grants, utility incentives, and fee reductions, Amazon says.” We can expect the final decision and site selection in 2018. In the meantime, Amazon continues to deliberate.