Amazon hunts for second HQ – everyone’s interested
Global Ecommerce titan Amazon is looking for a region to house its second headquarters. And pretty much every city in the U.S. is interested. There is a good reason for their interest: Amazon is massive. The workforce required by its new home-away-from-Seattle is likely to hit around 50,000. And Seattle itself is a good example of the value that the online retailer can add to its environment: according to Amazon, investments it made in its hometown have resulted in an economic expansion of $38 billion.
Amazon’s share price has gone up by 30% so far this year
SOURCE: Yahoo Finance
Greg LeRoy, executive director of Good Jobs First, says that the city that Amazon eventually selects will have won an extremely valuable prize: “This is the trophy deal of the decade. There’s no comparison in terms of the number of jobs they are touting.” That’s why mayors from all across the country are eager to get on Mr. Bezos’ good side.
Amazon has explained its preferences. It would like to be part of a metropolitan area with a population of more than one million, “a stable and business-friendly environment,” access to mass transit and proximity to major highways. It also said that it recognizes that there might not be existing buildings to meet its requirements, and is therefore prioritizing “shovel-ready greenfield sites.” Although it hasn’t made it explicit, the company will probably also want a nearby university from which to harvest talent.
America’s mayors are eager to woo the company. Bill Peduto, mayor of Pittsburgh has announced that he’s “on it”. Jim Strickland, of Memphis, said his city will “absolutely make a bid.” Philadelphia has earmarked itself as a “prime” location (nice one Philadelphia – we see what you did there), and Chicago’s mayor has allegedly already spoken to Jeff Bezos to make a pitch.
Even cities outside of the U.S. are getting involved, with Toronto being the first outsider to publically mention it was open for business. In fact, the only major city to proclaim disinterest is Detroit. John Roach, as spokesman for the city’s mayor, Mike Duggan, told the press: “Our only comment at this time is that we will be evaluating it carefully.” Will playing hard to get pay off for them?
Whoever wins the bidding war to become Amazonville mark two, the process has made one thing very clear: Amazon wields incredible influence.
Dominion holds Amazon in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund.
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