The guessing game: best site for Amazon's new HQ?

Appley's picture
Rank: Gorilla | 556

Fee fi fo fum
I seek the site of a new HQ
Bringing jobs and scouting talent
I'll make retailers know they're dead

-Appley

Jeff Bezos is looking for a new site to place Amazon's new HQ. What he's looking for?

-Urban location close to a good university
-The location has to be near a major airport
Ideally: a cosmopolitan area with an ability to gauge global trends in art, fashion, and design

The most concerning thing for Bezos is to see if he will be able to manage a unified business strategy for Amazon and avoid the firm from developing a "company split-personality"

But more importantly is the impact a new Amazon HQ will have! For sure, whichever city is chosen, the universities centered at the city will be able to greatly benefit... very much so. I wonder how this will play out?

WSO, take your pick:

Which city should the new Amazon HQ be placed in and which schools will benefit from the new presence of an Amazon HQ? WHY did you choose your pick?

Comments (179)

Sep 8, 2017

I give Philly low odds at best.

Taxes are high, construction costs are high, Penn is good but people aren't targeting Amazon for work, etc.

I'd look at chicago, Boston, charlotte, Atlanta.

Honestly, fuck Philly for even thinking about this. Losers in city hall don't derseve it. Cut taxes and help existing businesses before hopping for this miracle.

Btw - philly was trying to get GE to come and crowned on that. I can't see Amazon choosing PHL over other cities.

Sep 8, 2017

Philly has KOZs which are very favorable for businesses (eliminating many business taxes) on top of a 10 year property tax abatement for new development. For a deal this big, I can totally see more incentives given to Amazon. Not sure if Philly has the tech talent though. I honestly think Atlanta might be the front runner.

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Sep 8, 2017

I agree philly has some issues but I think you're being too negative

Construction costs are irrelevant... Brandywine is already committed to building it

Philly taxes aren't competitive but it would be in a KOZ as somebody else mentioned, which gives a bunch of corporate and employee wage tax breaks (this is being done elsewhere in UCity and the Navy Yard - another location they may consider)

I forget the exact numbers, but Amazon is looking for huge office space numbers (something like 500k SF in the near term with potential for several million in 10 years) which this provides

also a hip urban environment (I love spending time in center city and UCity has been really transforming too), very easy access to public transit, amtrak, airport, etc..

Penn & Drexel right next door (i.e. less than 5-10 minute walk) and tons of other schools within a 30 minute radius by car or public transit, the % of philly students remaining in philly after graduation has risen above 50% in the past decade and even more would stay with an employer like Amazon

philly job growth is not as bad as you say, the MSA YoY increase was on par with Boston, NYC, DC, etc and I'm sure the % is way better if you focus on Center City / UCity

Honestly, in the end, I don't really care if Amazon picks Philly. I'd love to see that city get the economic boost but I'm nervous what an influx of 50k rich tech bros would do to the culture

Sep 11, 2017

Like spending time in Center Shitty? I'll give you that University City is decent but the rest of that town has always been mediocre at best to me.

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Sep 8, 2017

Hoping for Philly but this city can't stay out of its own way.

I'm guessing Atlanta.

Sep 8, 2017

Agree. I was ripping into some RE people who were defending the city. Philly has seen the slowest job growth of any big city, in the middle of the longest recovery in recent history. Wage tax, net profit tax, business income tax, sales tax, bullshit regulations, costs to buildnis on par with NYC when it should be in par with Baltimore. Joke.

I tore into the animals that inhabit city hall as well as they celebrated the soda tax being passed. Was told to leave philly cause they didn't want me. Funny since my wage tax was about 5-7x what they paid.

Love the place but it's so myopic and provincial.

Sep 8, 2017

We miss your pragmatic views. I get the "negadelphian" moniker for pointing out the same flaws. Can't fix this place without admitting what's wrong with it.

Sep 8, 2017

Chicago... middle of the country, biggest airport in the country, UChicago, UIC, DePaul, Loyola, bunch of other schools

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

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Sep 11, 2017

I really think Chicago would have good chance due to meeting a bunch of the criteria - Airport access, Undergrad and MBA schools like Northwestern, UChicago, U of I (Computer Science/Engineering), chicago summers/atmosphere great for retaining young workforce

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Sep 8, 2017
Sep 8, 2017

Bentonville, Arkansas.

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Sep 15, 2017

They already said no to Amazon, through a public statement. Culture issues.

GoldenCinderblock: "I keep spending all my money on exotic fish so my armor sucks. Is it possible to romance multiple females? I got with the blue chick so far but I am also interested in the electronic chick and the face mask chick."

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Sep 8, 2017

Dallas will win.

Our schools are great for Supply Chain, Computer Science, Technology, even business related stuff.

Also with Toyota, Liberty Mutual, Jamba Juice, and others are bringing HQ's down here or at least their second/third hubs are moving down here.

Great tax benefits here in Texas, and Frisco/Plano is doing crazy things to attract these people and talent.

"It is better to have a friendship based on business, than a business based on friendship." - Rockefeller.

"Live fast, die hard. Leave a good looking body." - Navy SEAL

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Sep 9, 2017

Sorry but Dallas doesn't have world class university, great/good city otherwise.

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Sep 8, 2017

SMU/TCU, UTD is great for computer science and supply chain management. Not that far from Austin (easy to recruit from there) and A&M nearby. I think it'd be a better option to do Dallas instead of Austin just because of the already packed tech ecospace down in Austin.

"It is better to have a friendship based on business, than a business based on friendship." - Rockefeller.

"Live fast, die hard. Leave a good looking body." - Navy SEAL

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Best Response
Sep 9, 2017

Amazon's decision to open a second corporate headquarter is not surprising. It is long over due. Here is why.

  1. Amazon has maxed out on Seattle property and space. The firm already has 33 office buildings housing 40K+ employees, a staggering figure given that the entire city's population is just 700K. And nearly all the office buildings are clustered in a fairly small part of the city, which has resulted in traffic, congestion (try going to Chipotle on Westlake Avenue during weekday lunch hour), and higher rent.
  2. The Seattle city council is now run by socialists. They are certainly not business friendly and hate Amazon with a passion. The environment will only get worse, and it's time to hedge the downside risk.
  3. Human capital is a problem. Don't get me wrong. Amazon hires plenty of smart talented people, but given the size, importance, and prestige of the firm, I think it is under achieving here. To put it bluntly, with the exception of some MBAs, graduates of elite programs do not in general want to live in Seattle. This is particularly true for college graduates. Imagine you are a CS or economics student at say Harvard/Stanford/MIT undergrad. You have a plethora of options to choose from across tech, consulting, finance. Location is going to be important, as you want to be with your classmates and other graduates of elite schools. You also want to live in a fairly exciting city with great nightlife and social scene. This automatically excludes Seattle. The location is a tough sell.

Given these issues, what cities make sense for Amazon's HQ2? I think a handful stand out. I will iterate the pros and cons of each city.

Austin, Texas

Pros: 1) No state or city tax, 2) good weather, 3) Bezos has strong personal ties to Texas, 4) robust tech ecosystem and talent, including UT Austin.

Cons: 1) It's in fucking Texas, 2) no public transportation or ride sharing services, 3) mediocre airport.

Chicago, IL

Pros: 1) world-class city but fairly cheap, 2) growing tech and incubator scene, with Mayor Rahm Emmanuel aggressively courting companies, 3) tremendous human capital, with access to UChicago, Northwestern, and UIUC as well as other BIg 10 schools with strong engineering programs, 4) no problem drawing talent, as Chicago is an amazing city, 5) O'Hare airport provides easy access to the rest of the country and non-stop flights to almost every major international city, 6) 2nd best public transportation in the U.S. after NYC.

Cons: 1) weather, 2) State and the city are broke, so it's uncertain whether Amazon can get generous tax credits.

Toronto, Canada

Pros: 1) One of the fastest growing tech hubs in the world, with leading experts in machine learning and AI, 2) beautiful world-class city, 3) easy access to NYC and the east coast, 4) Canada is very friendly to H1-B Visa immigrants, which is highly relevant in today's political climate.

Cons: 1) potential bad PR if Amazon bases its second headquarter outside the country, 2) harder time drawing top American talent, as they may be reluctant to live in Canada, 3) Trudeau government may not be as generous with tax credits and subsidies.

Boston, MA

Pros: 1) Harvard and MIT, 2) very active and mature tech sector, including biotech and VC, 3) gives Amazon a strong presence in one of America's best educated cities, 4) no problem drawing top talent.

Cons: 1) fairly high cost of living, 2) mediocre public transportation and airport, 3) not much real estate available and strict building regulations.

Fairfax County, VA

Pros: 1) one of the most educated and affluent counties in the U.S; enormous human capital, 2) close access to D.C. would make sense given Bezos' ownership of the Washington Post and burgeoning interest in politics, 3) Amazon lobbyists can effectively pressure politicians, 4) pretty good airport in Dulles.

Cons: 1) D.C. and its suburbs are expensive, 2) lack of a robust public transportation system, 3) excessive media attention due to proximity to the nation's capital, 4) bad traffic.

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Sep 11, 2017

Keep hating on TX while the state's population and business growth are explosive. Lol at "it's fucking Texas" being a con, that is the Proest of Pros bro. Can't wait to revisit this thread when AMZN announces their 2nd HQ is going to be in Dallas or Austin.

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Sep 8, 2017

People undervalue Texas, but I'd give it less than 20 years and it'll be up in the top 5 places to be (at least for Tech).

"It is better to have a friendship based on business, than a business based on friendship." - Rockefeller.

"Live fast, die hard. Leave a good looking body." - Navy SEAL

Sep 15, 2017

Disclosure: I live in Dallas

Even if we could, which we won't because our public transport blows and you're lying to yourself if you think Dallas has world-class calibre education, I wouldn't want them. State Farm and Toyota are completely consuming North Dallas as is. We're in comparatively good economic shape as a city; share the wealth with other cities and keep my commuting time on the highways nice and manageable :)

Sep 8, 2017

I'll counter your point on Chicago weather: Yeah, it's cold in the winter and there's snow. But guess where there are never natural disasters, 110 degree heat, water rationing, evacuations...

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

Sep 9, 2017
GoldenCinderblock:

I'll counter your point on Chicago weather: Yeah, it's cold in the winter and there's snow. But guess where there are never natural disasters, 110 degree heat, water rationing, evacuations...

No one is going to defend Chicago winters, but look, when it's super cold out, you man up, wear a thick jacket and get to work. Blizzards suck, but it's not a threat to our property or safety. I would rather have super cold winters than be prone to hurricanes.

Weather aside, Chicago has very few weaknesses and pound for pound, is America's greatest city.

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Sep 9, 2017

Toronto is gonna bring home the ship baby. They're already hiring tons of UWaterloo and U of T kids, but it costs them a fortune to send them all the way to Washington. Not to mention it's a world class city meeting all of the other reqs.

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Sep 10, 2017

My view is that there is 0% chance Amazon locates this HQ outside the U.S. Amazon is already under huge political pressure for destroying tons of traditional retail jobs. I can't see them taking on such a self-inflicted wound as locating a N American HQ in Canada.

Sep 9, 2017

Agreed, I just like to be optimistic :(

Sep 15, 2017

Just for the tech talent, it's a good play + the city/province really wants to bring Amazon here. Hopefully, they would be committed to Canada expansion so we can get some good shit...

Sep 9, 2017

My guess is odds in this order:
Boston
Toronto
Raleigh
Atlanta
Texas of some sort (don't hate...i'm originally from Texas and Oklahoma; Austin would be the first choice but the airport sucks harder than a freshman cheerleader at a frat party; Houston/Dallas which are about even)
Pittsburgh

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Sep 15, 2017

best comment so far. only thing I'd change is removing toronto and putting atlanta over raleigh.

boston checks all the boxes, only question is how much RE will they need. this is my bet.

ATL likely has the space, has the transportation needs, but I doubt has the talent. Georgia Tech/Emory don't compete with UNC/Duke/NCSU much less MIT/Harvard for what Amazon wants.

raleigh has the tech talent (unlike Charlotte), has the land, has a good airport (efficient but small), but not a great airport. doesn't have the mass transit (every time I drive through, it's all highways and ubers, no train system to speak of), but cost of living is best out of the list.

I understand the argument for texas, but I'm unfamiliar with the state so I don't know where they'd go. if you're thinking Houston or Dallas, well those airports are some of the best, but for tech talent I'm betting they're lacking when compared with boston and the research triangle.

it all comes down to who gives bezos the best blowjob and what on their list they value more.

wherever they land, I just hope it's southeast, cause you better believe brofessor wants some AMZN executives as clients

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Sep 15, 2017

Is 161 acres 5 minutes from Downtown Boston and 2 train stops away from the financial district enough for Amazon in Boston? This is a massive old 161 acre former dog racing property in a quickly gentrified and majority hispanic and cheap part of Boston, right next to Boston. Amazon wants 50,000 employees and 5 million of square feet (im assuming counting vertically as well). Is this enough?

https://www.bizjournals.com/boston/news/2017/09/14...

Sep 8, 2017

Are top students really going to work for Amazon??? Google, sure. Uber, yes. But Amazon? Maybe in their corporate development office, but elsewhere? What revolutionary tech are they rolling out. Poop scooper shipped by a drone?

Company needs bodies. I can definitely see Gtech, GSU, UGA, Emory, etc all clamoring to work there.

http://www.businessinsider.com/best-schools-to-get...
This is dated, but look at those schools.

https://qz.com/636539/amazon-is-hiring-the-most-mb...
Look at Amazon gobble up those MBA's. And look at those other companies not hiring MBA's. Hmmm, because Amazon is tech Walmart and those other companies are hiring actual tech people and not fluffy and stuff.

Sep 9, 2017

SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA

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Sep 10, 2017

Boston. Deep talent in the NE corridor.

Sep 10, 2017

Nashville. Already a strong hipster population that would worship the second HQ as a holy shrine.

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Sep 11, 2017

Nashville is becoming what Austin used to be before it started taking itself too seriously. Downside is that public transit blows, however I hear many employers are offering "drivers" as a perk to lure talent from big cities.

Sep 11, 2017

I think Charlotte has to be a favorite...

Also would not be surprised to see a big Uptown Dallas campus.

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Sep 11, 2017

Atlanta

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Sep 11, 2017

Agreed

Sep 11, 2017

Heard Detroit is booming

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Sep 12, 2017

The issue with a lot of the smaller or 'less elite' cities is that top engineering grads aren't going to want to move there. You can talk about how amazing the business climate is in Texas or how Nashville/Atlanta/Raleigh/etc. are booming all you want but it doesn't change this reality.

A big part of the draw to living in in a more concentrated tech center such as SF/NYC/Seattle is that it's extremely easy for software engineers to leverage a higher salary at the company across the street. In Seattle, people often go from amzn to msft to amzn to msft every two years getting more and more $$$ after each move.

If they put their HQ in a place where the tech market isn't as saturated they simply are not going to attract the most talented and ambitious engineers who will make their new HQ even worth investing in. As someone from a technical background, I get literally dozens of recruiters per week emailing or calling me to ask if I'm interested in pursuing new opportunities. I don't have to do any work at all on the job front if I don't want to.

Amazon has a choice: it can put it's HQ where it will be by far the dominant employer in technology and have lower turnover but more mediocre talent. Or, it can put it in a more tech concentrated city and compete for the talent that will truly drive forward their business.

Bezos is smart. I'm guessing it will be Boston.

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Sep 11, 2017

This might be true but... Austin is already a tech hub.... the city is already overflowing with engineers and tech companies.... can't speak on Nashville/ Atlanta/ Raleigh.

Sep 12, 2017

Maybe. A quick look at my suggested jobs on LinkedIn in Austin just now did not seem very promising. Not many positions that seemed to appeal to my interests (data science, etc.). A smattering sure, but still doesn't seem like the critical mass required to bring in a second amzn hq. Maybe Bezos will try to be a leader there. I grew up on the west coast and went to school in the east coast. Austin in my mind always registered as a local tech hub. Nobody I knew from school or from work moved to Austin if they didn't have pre-existing ties to Texas. Perhaps that will change. I've been meaning to visit Austin as I've heard many good things.

Nothing against Austin at all, just trying to shed some light on some things that top engineers consider when choosing where to live and work. I think it's possible that the existing biases/ignorance towards Austin among engineers nationally may prevent Austin from being an ideal place for their HQ at this point in time. While I'm sure they would do a great job hiring from the UT schools, which obviously have fantastic engineering programs, it is unclear to me whether Austin would be a big enough draw for engineers who have the option to work at Google/FB/etc. in SV.

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Sep 10, 2017

Saw an interesting NY Times article that broke it down to a final 3 of Boston, Denver, and greater Washington, concluding ultimately to Denver. Interesting breakdown of criteria, but I think it will ultimately come down to the corporate welfare offered.

Rather than offer Amazon billions of tax incentives, states/cities would be better off lowering their tax burden across the board--I think they would end up with more bang for the buck and better distributed results.

Sep 11, 2017

lol yea if it comes down to corporate welfare Texas is definitely not getting that. We just don't do stuff like that nor do we need to, let the desperates have at it.

Sep 10, 2017

From the NY times article:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/09/09/ups...
Boston Mayor says they are not interested in getting into a bidding war for Amazon.

Sep 12, 2017

Well, it wouldn't have to be in Boston proper, right? Could be in Waltham, Somerville, etc.

Sep 12, 2017

I'd put my money on Atlanta.

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Sep 12, 2017
DetRustCohle:

I'd put my money on Atlanta.

One can only hope. Certainly checks the boxes for major airport and solid universities (Emory and GT) plus they just picked Atlanta for a new logistics hub.

Amazon put millions of dollars into Seattle's public transit system too. I would love that for MARTA.

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Sep 12, 2017

Dear God, MARTA needs every cent. Such an outdated transit system that needs major expansion. Being the city constantly has incredibly congested traffic, it will never become an international hub with its current public transportation system.

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Sep 13, 2017

@CRE I know you've said previously that you're in the Atlanta market, but what are your thoughts on how Atlanta stacks up next to Charlotte with respect to the HQ2 decision? I feel like other than horrible congestion Atlanta is an obvious top 3 pick for various reasons. But I also feel that Charlotte has a lot going for it as well (cheap RE and labor, a lot of growth, great "last mile" location, Amazon has a couple very large warehouses coming/there already in Concord and Kannapolis). Just curious to hear what you think since publications aren't really mentioning Charlotte as a contender

Sep 10, 2017

So they move to Atlanta, buy CNN and replace all advertising with "farm fresh Amazon echo" and Whole Foods ads.

Sep 12, 2017

Chicago would be the most logical choice. Third largest city, largest airport, major shipping and rail hub, and strongly established manufacturing, finance, and education sectors. Also, it's a big city with plenty to do much like New York.

Winters suck, but it's not any worse than Toronto, Detroit, Milwaukee, Calgary, or Cleveland.

My second guess would be Dallas.

"Work ethic, work ethic" - Vince Vaughn
Sep 10, 2017
Yankee Doodle:

Chicago would be the most logical choice. Third largest city, largest airport, major shipping and rail hub, and strongly established manufacturing, finance, and education sectors. Also, it's a big city with plenty to do much like New York.

Winters suck, but it's not any worse than Toronto, Detroit, Milwaukee, Calgary, or Cleveland.

My second guess would be Dallas.

The state of Illinois is on the brink of fiscal ruin. There is zero chance they will get HQ2.

Sep 12, 2017

Mike Madigan needs to be impeached.

"Work ethic, work ethic" - Vince Vaughn
Sep 15, 2017

Perhaps you don't know why Chicago is called the windy city...

In '01, Boeing moved its HQ from Seattle to Chicago. Various suburban HQs in the Chicagoland area are also moving into the city. Companies need talent in large quantities, suburban locations or smaller cities can't provide "culture" for 50k employees making $100k/year. Only a handful of cities in the US can offer that. If Boston is out of the running, I give Chicago a 50 delta in large part because there are several parcels of land available for development (west of Sears tower and near "Lincoln Park" area, not including south of the loop where a lot of venues for the Olympics were going to be built).

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Sep 12, 2017

Idk if anyone has mentioned this but, what about Philly?

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Sep 8, 2017

Zero chance. Love the city, but the people running the place are 3rd rate morons.

Sep 16, 2017

90%+ blue in every election

Sep 12, 2017

The world would be just fine without Amazon. In fact, not much would really change in our lives. We' just spend maybe 2 extra minutes buying that electric toothbrush from Oral-B's own website instead (where it's actually cheaper sometimes). Not a big deal.

The same cannot be said about Apple, or Boeing/Airbus, or even Facebook.

Sep 10, 2017

Ya know, there's a beautiful alternate dimension where Facebook was never invented. Wish I lived in that world.

Sep 13, 2017

I honestly hate Facebook, I cannot believe how many students use that during classes... it literally is not even remotely entertaining at all.

I hope Zuckerberg runs for President though, zucc 2020

Sep 9, 2017
Dances with Dachshunds:

Ya know, there's a beautiful alternate dimension where Facebook was never invented. Wish I lived in that world.

Facebook has not made our lives better while one can make a very strong case that Amazon has.

Sep 14, 2017

Utah Valley baby! 60k+ students, very entrepreneurial environment, business-friendly tax synergies, and quickly growing tech scene. I can't post links to articles about it because I'm a new user, but Google "Utah and business", tons of stuff will come up.

Sep 8, 2017

inb4 they put it in toronto lel

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

Sep 15, 2017

Top 3:
Boston
Chicago
Dallas

Others that will try to compete but are cut early:
Austin
Atlanta
Denver
Charlotte
NYC
Philly

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Sep 15, 2017

Midtown Atlanta. GA Tech nearby, hip vibe, access to (albeit laughable) public transit.

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Sep 10, 2017

I wonder why public transport is so important. Do they generally recruit people unable to drive?

Sep 10, 2017

When you're talking about commuting in as many as 50,000 employees to your campus it would probably require robust mass transit.

The D.C. area actually has a perfect location for Amazon. The expanded metro into Dulles (close to the international airport) opening in 2020 could easily handle 8 million sf of new buildings (because there's basically nothing there right now), and it's a "reverse commute" away from D.C., which means the mass of humanity commuting via metro could be handled in both the morning and evening, on metro or on the highways. But I'm super biased.

Sep 15, 2017

Purely speculating, but as a former Atlantan who lived in the suburbs, but worked in the city, it's more of a convenience factor. I have a car, but some days didn't want to sit in traffic, and to be fair considering my previous comment about MARTA, there were times I really did enjoy being able to ride the train and completely zone out and listen to music, read, meditate en route to work, as opposed to staring at taillights and a license plate and stressing for 1-1.5 hrs. But yeah, public transport increases the geographical footprint from which you can recruit employees/that your employees can live, which can be huge in a city like Atlanta, mainly from a cost of living standpoint (ie, price of X square foot apt in Midtown/Buckhead does not equate the same SF in, say, Dunwoody or Alpharetta). By being located conveniently near public trans,a company opens itself up to a larger segment of population from which it could hire.

So basically, law of averages applies. A company would want to position itself where it could recruit from the largest group of people, whether it be dudes sans cars, or guys who like having a backyard/bigger hoise at the cost of loving farther from the office. Being near a public trans hub links that company into that large group.

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Sep 16, 2017

For what its worth, here are my thoughts on some prospects:

Denver: NYT article said Denver which makes a ton of sense, my only issue with Denver is that the talent pool won't be as strong as in other areas. Other than that, low COL, good quality of life, cheap real estate, etc

Boston: Boston mayor said there won't be a bidding war, also expensive real estate, probably out unless the mayor was lying and plans on putting in a big offer

DC: Would make sense given that Bezos owns the Washington Post and has a $20M house in DC but I think space will be an issue again

Philly: Would love Philly but I think it would be a darkhorse candidate

Atlanta: Honestly makes the most sense all around, close to the biggest Airport in the US, lots of good schools(Duke, GA Tech, Emory, UNC, Vanderbilt are all pretty close), low COL, and lots of space available. Plus its an east coast city which gives Amazon a presence on both coasts.

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Sep 16, 2017

I heard they are currently building a warehouse south of Atlanta ... although they are probably building half a dozen of these around the country currently

Sep 21, 2017

If a primary factor in this decision is recruiting engineering talent from top universities (using top 25 from various websites as an approximation):

(In no particular order)
Boston - MIT, Cornell, Princeton, Columbia, Harvard
Chicago - UIUC, Purdue, Northwestern, UW Madison, Minnesota, Michigan
LA - Stanford, Berkeley, Cal Tech, UCLA, USC, UCSD
DC/VA - Hopkins, VTech, Maryland, NC
Philly - Carnegie, Penn State, Penn
Austin/Dallas - UT Austin, A&M, Rice
Atlanta - Georgia Tech

Other: U of Washington, Duke (could be DC/VA or ATL)

I'm sure I'm missing a couple solid engineering schools here and there, but my point is that it would be difficult to debate that fact that while cities like Atlanta & Denver have some good schools to draw talent from, they might just not have the endless supply of recent engineering grads that Amazon is looking for. That is, unless they are confident that they can recruit people to relocate, but it sounds as if that's one of the issues that they're currently facing in Seattle, so why do it to yourself again? (side note: I've been reached out to by someone at Amazon ~5x over years and I live nowhere near Seattle, so talent pool is clearly becoming an issue)

My guess is Chicago, DC/VA, or Dallas/Austin.

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Sep 10, 2017

Solid analysis.

I'd qualify the analysis by noting that many of these schools aren't necessarily regional schools. Johns Hopkins, Carnegie Mellon, Stanford, Cal Tech, MIT, Harvard, Columbia, Princeton, Penn, for example, aren't necessarily regional universities (they have a ton of students from all over the U.S. and world), compared to, say, VTech and Penn State, which are disproportionately regional schools. In other words, I wouldn't necessarily credit the city of Boston, for example, with special access to MIT and Harvard because those aren't regional universities--Amazon could just as easily have on-campus recruiters recruiting for positions in NYC, D.C., Austin, etc. Students at truly national/international universities being wedded to their university's home region is less likely an issue than with regional school alumni (such as PSU, Maryland, VTech, and UNC). As an example, my neighbor is from Oregon, went to Carnegie Mellon and is working for a start-up in Arlington, VA--he had no particular connection to Pittsburgh other than being physically there for 4 years.

But I could be off base. Having at least physically close presence to non-regional schools is still probably an advantage, if only on the margins.

Sep 21, 2017

Makes sense. Based on that alone, Chicago seems like a good option given that many of the people who attend the aforementioned schools near Chicago tend to be people from the Midwest and who are also more likely to want to stay in the Midwest -- to your point, when compared to schools like Harvard, Stanford, etc. Amazon could then recruit from these other schools, which may have students that are not as tied to their university's region, to Chicago.

CHICAGQ 2020?

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Sep 9, 2017
Dances with Dachshunds:

Solid analysis.

I'd qualify the analysis by noting that many of these schools aren't necessarily regional schools. Johns Hopkins, Carnegie Mellon, Stanford, Cal Tech, MIT, Harvard, Columbia, Princeton, Penn, for example, aren't necessarily regional universities (they have a ton of students from all over the U.S. and world), compared to, say, VTech and Penn State, which are disproportionately regional schools. In other words, I wouldn't necessarily credit the city of Boston, for example, with special access to MIT and Harvard because those aren't regional universities--Amazon could just as easily have on-campus recruiters recruiting for positions in NYC, D.C., Austin, etc. Students at truly national/international universities being wedded to their university's home region is less likely an issue than with regional school alumni (such as PSU, Maryland, VTech, and UNC). As an example, my neighbor is from Oregon, went to Carnegie Mellon and is working for a start-up in Arlington, VA--he had no particular connection to Pittsburgh other than being physically there for 4 years.

But I could be off base. Having at least physically close presence to non-regional schools is still probably an advantage, if only on the margins.

Although those top schools are certainly national programs, the graduates disproportionately end up at a handful of cities: NYC, Boston, DC, Chicago, SF, LA. With the exception of MBAs, Amazon has a very tough time recruiting talent from top 10 programs due to the Seattle location. Bezos is a smart guy, so I'm sure he is well aware of how much Seattle is hurting the firm.

Sep 9, 2017
Poff:

If a primary factor in this decision is recruiting engineering talent from top universities (using top 25 from various websites as an approximation):

(In no particular order)
Boston - MIT, Cornell, Princeton, Columbia, Harvard
Chicago - UIUC, Purdue, Northwestern, UW Madison, Minnesota, Michigan
LA - Stanford, Berkeley, Cal Tech, UCLA, USC, UCSD
DC/VA - Hopkins, VTech, Maryland, NC
Philly - Carnegie, Penn State, Penn
Austin/Dallas - UT Austin, A&M, Rice
Atlanta - Georgia Tech

Other: U of Washington, Duke (could be DC/VA or ATL)

I'm sure I'm missing a couple solid engineering schools here and there, but my point is that it would be difficult to debate that fact that while cities like Atlanta & Denver have some good schools to draw talent from, they might just not have the endless supply of recent engineering grads that Amazon is looking for. That is, unless they are confident that they can recruit people to relocate, but it sounds as if that's one of the issues that they're currently facing in Seattle, so why do it to yourself again? (side note: I've been reached out to by someone at Amazon ~5x over years and I live nowhere near Seattle, so talent pool is clearly becoming an issue)

My guess is Chicago, DC/VA, or Dallas/Austin.

Chicago is such a damm good choice that it's mind blowing.

Sep 21, 2017

Multiple options in NYC. The Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn all put in individual bids.

Sep 21, 2017

I feel like a lot of you who are discounting the chances of Austin becoming the second HQ forget that Whole Foods is based out of there too. Seems pretty logical to me, or at least Dallas which is just a few hours away from Austin

Sep 10, 2017
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Sep 21, 2017
Sep 21, 2017
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Sep 21, 2017
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