Just in case, you haven’t a clue of what I’m talking about, it’s the second headquarters for Amazon. Right now, Amazon headquarters is in Seattle. The second headquarters is going to be big. The New York Times reports:
The winner could get up to 50,000 high-paying jobs and $5 billion in investment, figures that Amazon has dangled in front of local officials, setting off an unprecedented competition to be the second home for one of the internet’s mightiest companies.
The top 20 cities have been announced. See list at the end of the blog.
When Amazon finally decides, all the mayors will be seated in a room, and Tyra Banks will call out each of them, flash a couple pictures of their city, and tell them why they just didn’t have the right stuff to be the next HQ2 (i.e. well, your airport was ok, but there was just a bit too much crime and your air smells a bit funny, so Pittsburgh you’re out). I’m joking of course.
Amazon will make each city beg to be HQ2, so it won’t be Washington, DC. If they want smart people, they will go for Austin or Boston. I’m guessing it will be an east coast city, with large international airports. Toronto would be good in almost every respect, except the weather. So, the winner in my opinion is: Atlanta, GA. A runner up choice is Raleigh, NC. Amazon also lists Northern Virginia in the top 20 cities, which is possible. Yeah, I know there is no city called Northern Virginia, but with Bezo’s billions, Virginia would build one. These are the compromise choices, half way between New York and Miami. The sleeper would be Newark, where of course, nobody in their right mind would pick, unless all they cared about is tax breaks and being top dog in the area. Amazon audiobook division, Audible, is in Newark.
I’m figuring Atlanta is best for executives, who are hoping on flights to Europe, Africa and Asia. The future is about distribution. But, just for the record, I think Toronto, Northern Virginia, Raleigh and (oh no) Newark are still in the running. Newark would kind of being like Tyra Banks picking the ugliest model to be the next Top Model. It really could happen, but it would be obvious to everyone they were paid off (in tax breaks) for this choice.
— Update, just as I posted my choice, Yahoo – Finance posted their predictions, which were so similar to mine, I think they must have read my blog. They predicted Washington, DC (not going to happen), but also Montgomery County, MD which makes a lot of sense as a Miami to Boston compromise and close enough to Washington.
— Update #2, the paddypower website for gamblers has Boston, Austin and Atlanta as front runners. Washington, DC is #4. My other hunches, Toronto, North Virginia, Raleigh and Newark are all at the back of the bus. For Amazon employees, scared to death they could be transferred to Newark, you can rest easy for now. Pittsburgh and Montgomery County are also in paddypower top 6 bets.
Top cities: Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Columbus, OH, Dallas, Denver, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, Montgomery County, MD, Nashville, Newark (oh no), New York, Northern Virginia (not a city), Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, NC, Toronto (yes, we know it’s in Canada, Amazon can change this!), and Washington.