Prime real estate: Amazon opens search for 2nd headquarters

Potential Tower Site for Amazon
Potential Tower Site for Amazon

11 September, 2017

The company says it will invest $5 billion U.S. to develop the new site, which will house as many as 50,000 workers in more than eight million square feet of space within a decade.

Meanwhile, John Burbank of the Washington-based Economic Policy Institute, who signed a almost $50,000 contract with the City of Seattle to help write and defend its income tax on the rich, spared few words in a blog post Thursday titled 'Let Amazon Hike Up Rents Somewhere Else'.

Leaders from cities across the USA are vying for a chance to reap in the lucrative bid, and Tulsa has already proclaimed interest to bid for Amazon's new headquarters.

Amazon estimates its investments in Seattle, the location of Amazon HQ1 from 2010 through 2016, resulted in an additional $38 billion to the city's economy. Is Seattle continuing to hold Amazon's growth an option?

"In the city of St. Paul alone, we have numerous opportunities for a company like Amazon to build a campus that meets its needs". A legacy of inadequate investment in public transportation makes commuting from more affordable communities to the North and South a life-sapping proposition.

The company will accept project proposals until October 19, giving cities relatively little time to pull together complex plans. While outlets like Crain's think that the Amazon HQ opening isn't going to happen, others are staying slightly more optimistic at the idea of a bunch of Seattle nerds opening shop in Detroit. By 2022, the company is expected to occupy 12 million square feet in the city, up from 8 million now.

By doing so, Chicago also aims at the 50,000 jobs the headquarters will offer. "This is a high-profile search, and Amazon has an incredible amount of wherewithal to influence state and federal legislation".

Tory will have a challenger in Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, who said the West Coast metropolis is a top contender for Amazon's next headquarters. The idea of packing that many employees of a single company into the greater Seattle area, or really any large US metro area, strains credulity.

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"We expect HQ2 to be a full equal to our Seattle headquarters", Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive of Amazon, said in a statement. It clearly has "metropolitan areas with more than 1 million people" and "urban or suburban locations with the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent", as proven by the state's 17 Fortune 500 companies already making Minnesota home.

"Michigan's wealth of talent and a vastly improved business climate have perfectly positioned our state to become home to Amazon's next North American headquaters". "Adding a second headquarters here is definitely a move we welcome". "That's also why Chicago has led the nation in corporate relocations for the last four years".

The U.S. Census estimated Fresno's population at 522,053 as of July 1 of previous year, but it's not clear if populations of Clovis and other, nearby communities might be considered in Amazon's consideration process.

Amazon's experimental convenience store at its Seattle headquarters.

If an Oklahoma community did win the Amazon HQ2 bid, the rewards could be staggering. It's not so much the jobs as becoming a focal point for growth.

More than 50 cities have the 1-million population Amazon targets. Wisconsin's legislature recently voted to give Taiwanese manufacturer a $3-billion incentive package to build a $10-billion liquid crystal display factory in the state, for example.

Benjamin Romano is editor of Xconomy Seattle.

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