Cities Try Convincing Amazon They’re Ready For Its New Headquarters

Nikol Szymul staffs a accepting table during Amazon offices in downtown Seattle. Online sell powerhouse Amazon is acid for a second domicile location, that an central from Toronto has called “the Olympics of a corporate world.”

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Nikol Szymul staffs a accepting table during Amazon offices in downtown Seattle. Online sell powerhouse Amazon is acid for a second domicile location, that an central from Toronto has called “the Olympics of a corporate world.”

Glenn Chapman/Getty Images

An central from Toronto has called Amazon’s hunt for a second domicile “the Olympics of a corporate world.”

It’s a flattering singular conditions of a kind and scale. Typically, cities and states strive for factories or offices behind a scenes. This time, Amazon’s open questionnaire of bids from radically all vital civil areas in North America has stirred reporters and analysts opposite a continent to run their possess contingency on intensity winners.

What’s during stake?

The top-line representation is Amazon’s guarantee to deposit $5 billion in whatever village it picks to be a home of a second headquarters. And a association says it would pierce adult to 50,000 new jobs, with an normal income of some-more than $100,000.

In Seattle, Amazon’s soaring 8.1-million-square-foot downtown campus employs tens of thousands of employees and has served as a contrast belligerent for new sell ideas, like a store though check-out registers. Amazon says HQ2 would be a “full equal.”

What is Amazon looking for?

The company’s call for applications is intensely detailed. It should be a metro area with some-more than 1 million people, a business-friendly taxation structure, tighten to an general airfield and nearby vital highways, a place with mass transit, good Internet and “excellent” aloft education.

The association is also not bashful about observant it wants an appealing offer of a financial inducement — a pierce that’s turn prevalent for corporate expansions, that mostly engage taxation cuts, relocation grants or cost reductions. “The initial cost and ongoing cost of doing business are vicious preference drivers,” Amazon says in a request for proposal.

What communities are opposed for a HQ2?

With roughly 4 weeks until a deadline, a list of intensity contenders is expansive: New York, Boston, Chicago, Washington/Baltimore, Atlanta, Austin, Denver, Ottawa and Toronto — cities adult and down and opposite a continent, tallied to series some-more than 100 by a Chicago Tribune.


And a communities aren’t bashful about their open pitches.

“We have sites that are ready, that are transit-oriented,” says Scott Levitan, conduct of a Research Triangle Foundation in North Carolina. “We have extensive fiber fortitude during a site and we have a segment that is positively focused on being a best probable plcae for HQ2,” he says, adding that a Raleigh–Durham–Chapel Hill metro area sits equally between a sea and a mountains.

“Colorado is ideally aligned with a company’s enlightenment of collaboration, and innovation, and focusing on a customers,” says Yuriy Gorlov, clamp boss of a Aurora Economic Development Council, also highlighting a Denver area’s entrance to fiber, power, movement and a nationally famous hiking route system.

“We feel like we have a lot to offer, in terms of a talent base, a logistics, a business-friendly climate,” says A.J. Robinson, boss of Central Atlanta Progress. “And many of all, people adore to live and work here.”

[Note: Amazon is one of NPR’s financial supporters.]

What are a cities’ biggest considerations or intensity concerns?

Though Amazon likes to surveillance a billions of dollars it says it has injected into Seattle’s economy, a city has been tested by a large corporate presence.

Over a years, frustrations aired by residents of Seattle (headquarters there occupy 40,000 employees) have enclosed fast rising housing costs, trade congestion, gentrification and vigour on internal businesses. As The New York Times reported recently:

“Some internal lawmakers have blamed Amazon for being a primary writer to a region’s miss of affordable housing and other woes. The City Council recently unanimously approved a taxation on particular income over $250,000 and $500,000 for couples, that would impact high-earners during Amazon. The legislation is confronting authorised challenges.

“The internal opposition toward a association was summed adult in graffiti that recently seemed on a wall of a bustling downtown trade tunnel: an clamour before a final name of Mr. Bezos.”

The communities seeking HQ2 aren’t expected to be genuine about what happens when a city gets flooded with thousands of high-net-worth bureau workers. But in a feverishness of a behest war, nothing of a economic-development officials interviewed by NPR pronounced that anyone on their group has suggested to equivocate a bid since of intensity negatives.

Of course, behest for Amazon isn’t like behest for a Olympics — a Games come and go, a corporate domicile stay — though Atlanta’s Robinson pronounced his city really schooled a useful doctrine from hosting a 1996 Games.

Amazon By The Numbers

Founded: 1994 in Seattle

U.S. employees: 341,400 (in January, a association pronounced it skeleton to emanate 100,000 some-more jobs in 18 months)

2016 revenues: $136 billion

Stock marketplace capitalization: $467 billion

Stock cost expansion in final 5 years: up 281 percent

Fortune 500 ranking: 12th

U.S. facilities: 214 opposite a country

“Having survived a Olympics, we know that post-winning, we have to deliver,” Robinson says. “You have to have a infrastructure, we have to be peaceful to deposit in transit, in forms of things that this series of workers will need, a housing batch and so forth.”

Major pushback has so distant focused on a intensity cost to taxpayers, as all behest communities import how they can tempt Amazon with taxation credits, giveaway land or other financial perks.

After The New York Times analysis zeroed in on Denver as a best claimant for Amazon’s HQ2, The Denver Post published an editorial titled, “In Denver’s courting of Amazon, officials should remember a taxpayers.” The Post‘s editorial house wrote:

“We’d adore to see Amazon locate here, as prolonged as we’re not left feeling like we’ve given divided a store.”

NPR’s Art Silverman, Emily Sullivan and Business Desk novice Yu-Ning Aileen Chuang contributed to this report.