Author Topic: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America  (Read 2623 times)

Noodle

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Re: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America
« Reply #50 on: September 13, 2017, 11:44:36 AM »
I think it would be awesome if they would move to a Rust Belt city and revitalize it. That would be a great thing.

It was a big deal a few years ago in St. Louis when IKEA decided to build in the city rather than far out in the cornfields. Just that one store jump started the revitalization of a whole urban neighborhood. Imagine what an Amazon HQ could do, though I wouldn't be down with it if they torn down a large swathe of early 20th century buildings to do it.

I agree with this. Any of the usual suspect tech cities are getting so overrun, overpriced and are suffering from too much of a good thing.
But somewhere like Detroit would be amazing for such an influx of new jobs. Think how it would revamp old neighborhoods and help rebuild, or in some cases, create new infrastructure. Tech workers priced out of so many other areas could be interested in a new frontier. It would be a huge PR win for Amazon, doing well by doing good and all that.

I would LOVE to see a big tech company go into a Rust Belt City with a headquarters...I think it would be good for the local community but also for the country if a trend could be started--I do not think the geographical clustering we have going on right now is good for us. That said, I don't think Amazon is necessarily the company to take on that do-gooder role. They were famous in Seattle for having very little interest in supporting community-building or philanthropy, either locally or on the international level where the Gates Foundation operates (ie, Microsoft).

I DO wonder if they might consider a strategy of moving into a less tech-friendly community as a way to address their retention problems...ie, perhaps if your staff would have to move across country to get a new job, they are less likely to wander off than somewhere like Seattle where they can send their resume across the street. And of course Amazon would still have the Seattle headquarters as a recruiting tool since half the staff would still be there.

okits

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Re: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America
« Reply #51 on: September 14, 2017, 12:26:47 AM »
1. Atlanta
2. Toronto
3. Chicago
4. Los Angeles

One benefit of choosing a Canadian city is that the employees will have government-funded healthcare (employer provides benefits for dental, prescriptions, other supplemental services).  This could be a major savings to the company, given the expected size of the workforce.
I know Toronto is bidding for it, but if they go Canadian, Waterloo wouldn't surprise me.

Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Durham Region, Halton Region and York Region are doing a joint bid.  Notable for its absence on that list: Waterloo Region.

iowajes

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Re: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America
« Reply #52 on: September 14, 2017, 05:57:47 AM »
Apparently Iowa is planning a bid.  No idea which metro region they are bidding it for (maybe Des Moines)- none of them meet the population requirement.


When this first came out and people were throwing around Austin, my husband and I were laughing at how confused Austinites would be... First, they would be thrilled because they "won". Austinites love to win. But then they'd be pissed because they hate new people. Even if only half of those new jobs moved in, 25,000 more cars on MoPac. EEK!  We don't want Austin to win because then we'd here over and over from my MIL about how we need to move back, we could work at Amazon! Despite not really being in fields that would work at Amazon. That's never bothered her before when trying to get us to move back.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2017, 06:05:15 AM by iowajes »

iowajes

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Re: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America
« Reply #53 on: September 14, 2017, 06:01:32 AM »
That's not how Amazon works (the long commute thing).  They pay to relocate employees and their families after hiring, and then require the employees to pay back all fees only if they leave within a certain period of time.  Helps with employee retention.

Amazon's median employee tenure is just 1 year.(1)

Anecdotally, yes, relocated people hang on by their nails until they reach that payback deadline and then turn tail and run.


(1) http://www.slate.com/blogs/business_insider/2013/07/28/turnover_rates_by_company_how_amazon_google_and_others_stack_up.html

Does this include warehouse employees too though?  I'd think that HQ-type employees might have different stats than the other parts of the company. I think it still wouldn't be super high, as job hopping is how you get raises in most industries, but do they not do any sort of vesting for their retirement? That's usually where the turnover of exempt jobs comes from.

(Everyone I know who works for Amazon raves about it. And the ones who went there from Google really prefer Seattle.)

hoping2retire35

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Re: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America
« Reply #54 on: September 14, 2017, 06:50:51 AM »
Greenville SC. 1.6 mil MSA. Growing area halfway between Charlotte and Atlanta, seems small but also have a large/decent size local univeristy, Athens, Ga(UGA) isn't far away either. Verdee is 600 acres of undeveloped land two blocks from the downtown airport. LCOL, lots of outdoor amenities, and if any young tech worker wants to get weird Asheville, NC is a short drive. Done.

A Definite Beta Guy

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Re: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America
« Reply #55 on: September 14, 2017, 07:11:36 AM »
I believe one of their requirements was a location with several nearby universities they are could draw talent from.

Everything they said screams "Boston" to me. Except I think Boston is getting expensive.

Marginal Revolution linked to an article suggesting Philly. It still has low rents, and has bounced back a lot post-Great Recession. I think UPenn is right there, too.

I don't think the Chicago schools churn out enough tech talent for an Amazon.

iowajes

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Re: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America
« Reply #56 on: September 14, 2017, 07:17:05 AM »
Greenville SC. 1.6 mil MSA. Growing area halfway between Charlotte and Atlanta, seems small but also have a large/decent size local univeristy, Athens, Ga(UGA) isn't far away either. Verdee is 600 acres of undeveloped land two blocks from the downtown airport. LCOL, lots of outdoor amenities, and if any young tech worker wants to get weird Asheville, NC is a short drive. Done.

The population is less than 100,000 though.
They want an area with 1,000,000.

Could a city of 67,000 support 50,000 new jobs?

(Which is one of the reasons I think anywhere in Iowa bidding is bizarre. We just do not have cities the size they are looking for.) 

hoping2retire35

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Re: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America
« Reply #57 on: September 14, 2017, 07:22:38 AM »
yep, city proper is only 66k, but the county has 450k+ the area has about 1.6 million.

Mississippi Mudstache

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Re: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America
« Reply #58 on: September 14, 2017, 10:21:11 AM »
yep, city proper is only 66k, but the county has 450k+ the area has about 1.6 million.

Greenville is a great city, but the area doesn't have the population that Amazon will be looking for. My money is on Atlanta or Charlotte. Big populations, plenty of tech talent, state governments that love to give corporate tax breaks, and big airports. But I really don't have a clue (or care).
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hoping2retire35

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Re: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America
« Reply #59 on: September 14, 2017, 10:45:30 AM »
I am putting my money (or forum reputation?) on it not being one of the bigger MSAs. They said 1 million, I doubt that goes up to 5 million (Atlanta) not to mention cost and TRAFFIC, Charlotte could be high on the list. From 10,000 feet up Raleigh makes sense but I never been there, so really no idea about it.

MM, you are just down the road, you must have moved recently.

tralfamadorian

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Re: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America
« Reply #60 on: September 15, 2017, 05:48:06 AM »
My vote's on NC- specifically Charlotte. COL is still relatively low, several excellent universities nearby and NC has been aggressively working to make itself attractive to tech companies.

andy85

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Re: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America
« Reply #61 on: September 15, 2017, 07:08:42 AM »
Louisville.

Pro:
Amazon already has a distribution center here.
UPS main air hub is here. And they've pretty much been given a tax free ride.
Kentucky has a laissez faire capitalist governer in the atrocious Matt Bevin.
A number of Fortune 500 companies have there I/S here, so there's plenty to poach from.
Local and nearby universities have strong I/S and business programs.
Near the US population center of mass.
LCOL
A food and drink culture I'd put up against NYC, Chicago, or LA (if intagibles like this count).
Democrat Mayor is pushing growth, tech, diversity, urbanism, pretty much all of the hipster buzzwords.
Cons:
Shit public trans and bike infrastructure (but hippy mayor is working on it).
The general worldwide view of Kentucky as a fuck-yer-sister hellhole.
literally took the words out of my mouth...

...snip
I don't imagine Louisville is big enough. The city needs a decent infrastructure and likely several universities from which to draw tech graduates. That's why places like Chicago, Atlanta, Boston, and even Raleigh/Durham have an edge.
...snip

and idk...probably close to 3/4 of a million people, closer to a million probably if you include southern indiana, which you should since it is basically downtown louisville. Our infrastructure is fine, other than public transportation, which is shit as noted above. I've said this before, but after visiting Portland, i feel like Louisville is definitely a smaller version of that city and going for that vibe as far as the food/drink/hip scene is concerned. You have Univ of Louisville, Univ of Kentucky, EKU, WKU, IU, and a hand full of smaller colleges within a couple of hours of the city...i mean even Chicago is what, like 5-6hrs away? Plus...UPS world hub is here as well as an amazon packing facility. Also pretty low utility rates.

justajane

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Re: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America
« Reply #62 on: September 15, 2017, 08:31:53 AM »
@andy85

I love Louisville. It has a fantastic walkable downtown and lots of culture and restaurants, etc. for a city of its size. I would love to live there if I didn't have strong roots in St. Louis. But 50,000 jobs is a lot of jobs. I'm not sure you would even like the changes that such would bring to your city. Imagine the suburban sprawl and the traffic. I wonder if a city like Indianapolis could better absorb that number of jobs. But this is likely all moot. Bezos will probably reject the entire Midwest/Upper South and opt for a place like Denver anyway.

Miss Piggy

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Re: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America
« Reply #63 on: September 15, 2017, 08:46:53 AM »
A big part of me would love to see them go to Detroit.

I hadn't thought about Detroit, but yeah, Detroit could sure use the boost.

andy85

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Re: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America
« Reply #64 on: September 15, 2017, 08:59:04 AM »
@andy85

I love Louisville. It has a fantastic walkable downtown and lots of culture and restaurants, etc. for a city of its size. I would love to live there if I didn't have strong roots in St. Louis. But 50,000 jobs is a lot of jobs. I'm not sure you would even like the changes that such would bring to your city. Imagine the suburban sprawl and the traffic. I wonder if a city like Indianapolis could better absorb that number of jobs. But this is likely all moot. Bezos will probably reject the entire Midwest/Upper South and opt for a place like Denver anyway.

excellent point...i did think about this. This would be a big reason i wouldn't want it here. Traffic isn't awful here...I mean it has it's moments, but it isn't horrendous. Not sure what it would look like with that influx in jobs.

But i agree with you, it is likely a moot point.


merula

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Re: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America
« Reply #65 on: September 15, 2017, 09:14:57 AM »
Well I'm in the twin cities and just bought a house so I'm hoping for some appreciation!

Seriously though, I think the interest of employees in living in the city needs to be up there above best tax breaks. And obviously I love MSP. 

St. Louis, Tampa, and Detroit, I just can't see. The hip young people who work in Detroit live in Ann arbor. We looked pretty seriously at jobs in Detroit (had an "in" at a company) and decided we couldn't stomach a 45 minute drive from AA, the only option in our minds for decent schools and walkable/bikable.

Agreed. And cost of living and housing prices are very good compared to many other attractive places.

Also, there's the old Ford Plant on Ford Parkway in St. Paul. That property would be PERFECT for them.

Late to the party on this, but the Ford site is in my neighborhood, and we need that as housing development. Desperately. Within the Cities, the housing vacancy rate is well below normal and dropping, there's a severe shortage. The Ford Plan rezoning being considered by the St. Paul City Council is a great start.

Now, if they wanted to take one of the TWELVE municipal golf courses between Minneapolis and St. Paul and develop that into a campus and housing, I'm all for that. But then the mostly-Boomer golf contingent gets their panties in a bunch over "millennials" killing golf.

patchyfacialhair

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Re: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America
« Reply #66 on: September 15, 2017, 10:22:16 AM »
I immediately thought of Denver.

Pros: Close to mountains, variety of places to live within commuting distance (meaning the young employees can live in hip downtown places and the families can take their pick of a suburb), strong economy, stuff to do all across the state, huge hub airport, south Denver area has plenty of open space for additional housing and infrastructure (it's just grasslands now, plus there's a bunch of empty space between Colorado Springs and Denver), low taxes (state/property), mild climate.

Cons: Cost of living keeps going up, traffic is getting worse and worse, public transit isn't as great as it should be, and too much growth could put pressure on the state's clean water infrastructure.

Midwest

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Re: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America
« Reply #67 on: September 15, 2017, 10:26:35 AM »
Denver's a cool city, but if working with Europe is a priority for this HQ2 that would seem to be a big strike against Denver. 

patchyfacialhair

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Re: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America
« Reply #68 on: September 15, 2017, 11:18:57 AM »
There are some direct flights to Europe from Denver, but they're long...8-9 hrs. Probably rules it out, but I'm selfishly hoping for Denver as it would give me a ton of imaginary equity with the resulting increase in demand for housing.