Author Topic: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America  (Read 5726 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.
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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.

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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.

the_fixer

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Re: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America
« Reply #69 on: September 24, 2017, 07:42:29 PM »
Fingers crossed for the Denver metro area.

I have heard a big developer purchased a large plot of land just east of Boulder along highway 36 and they are pitching it to Amazon.

It would be a great location right on the corner of highway 36 and the northwest parkway ~20 mins to DIA, 1 exit from the CU campus ~10 min drive, has amazing views of the flatiron mountains, about 1/4 miles from the buss rapid transport location / future light rail, right on the highway 36 bike path, some large high tech employers, plenty of hotels, the flatirons mall is right across 36 and there is a bunch of open space / outdoor activities.

It would be a huge selling point to employees, my wife's company that is based in Ohio has a hard time attracting employees and has been growing the Colorado operation since they can attract more employees in the Colorado office.

We happen to be located 2 blocks from the proposed site right between it and the buss rapid transit.

http://www.denverpost.com/2017/09/21/colorado-amazon-campus-proposal/

http://www.denverpost.com/2017/09/20/storagetek-louisville-site-amazon-hq/

 
« Last Edit: September 24, 2017, 07:54:40 PM by the_fixer »

Dicey

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Re: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America
« Reply #70 on: September 25, 2017, 05:52:31 AM »
I feel like there is a lot in Silicone Valley...
No, Silicone Valley is just north of Beverly Hills, where all the plastic surgeons are...
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bacchi

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Re: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America
« Reply #71 on: September 25, 2017, 12:08:13 PM »
I have heard a big developer purchased a large plot of land just east of Boulder along highway 36 and they are pitching it to Amazon.

Amazon is looking for low cost of living and Boulder ain't it*.


* 178, from http://www.bestplaces.net/cost_of_living/city/colorado/boulder

lost_in_the_endless_aisle

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Re: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America
« Reply #72 on: September 25, 2017, 05:07:59 PM »
I have heard a big developer purchased a large plot of land just east of Boulder along highway 36 and they are pitching it to Amazon.

Amazon is looking for low cost of living and Boulder ain't it*.


* 178, from http://www.bestplaces.net/cost_of_living/city/colorado/boulder

Also, Denver is a cow-town and I was under the impression Amazon was looking at big cities.

the_fixer

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Re: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America
« Reply #73 on: September 25, 2017, 09:59:14 PM »

If you are familiar with the area you would know that it is not in Boulder just close enough to draw from and recruit the type of person that they want. You would also know that there are places to live that are reasonably priced. While not a LCOL compared to some places the benefits of living here have to be taken into account. If you compare it to similar areas that have a similar draw for lifestyle and quality of life I bet the area is very competitive.

You have to remember it is also about attracting talent and the Denver metro area is attractive to the demographic they want to employ.

————

As for the cow town comment not sure why you say that. Maybe if you go north till you smell it then east till you step in it but that would be Greeley not the Denver Meteo area.

lost_in_the_endless_aisle

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Re: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America
« Reply #74 on: September 26, 2017, 05:40:31 PM »

If you are familiar with the area you would know that it is not in Boulder just close enough to draw from and recruit the type of person that they want. You would also know that there are places to live that are reasonably priced. While not a LCOL compared to some places the benefits of living here have to be taken into account. If you compare it to similar areas that have a similar draw for lifestyle and quality of life I bet the area is very competitive.

You have to remember it is also about attracting talent and the Denver metro area is attractive to the demographic they want to employ.

—�—�—�—

As for the cow town comment not sure why you say that. Maybe if you go north till you smell it then east till you step in it but that would be Greeley not the Denver Meteo area.
Well FWIW the Upshot people at the NYTimes like Denver for HQ2 though their analysis was superficial.

The designation of Denver (et. al) as cowtown is an old insult that I find fun to throw around. It's still the case despite rapid growth that Denver is a relatively small city (urban area population: 2.4M, US rank: 18th; metropolitan area population: 2.8M, US rank: 19th). The airport is great for domestic flights but is a laggard for non-stop international connections (DEN airport Is also a sprawling mess but I guess they are ready for when they need 18 runways. I just think about the blank slate they started with [jokingly called Western Nebraska International Airport since it's so far to the northeast from Denver] and how unimaginative the layout is with respect to parking, hotels, and transit, though they finally got the light rail connection in after a decade of trying).

Telecaster

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Re: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America
« Reply #75 on: September 27, 2017, 12:11:50 AM »
I actually really liked Stapleton.   Close in, easy peasy.  DIA is kind of a hellhole.  Long way out of town.  Nothing around it. Offsite car rental which I hate.  And of course the crazy blue horse with red eyes.

A Definite Beta Guy

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Re: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America
« Reply #76 on: September 27, 2017, 09:38:52 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.

I always encourage everyone to move to IL, because the more taxpayers we have, the lower my taxes will be in the future.

Hey, Amazon, I'm not sure if you know this....but the Bulls were rated the most likely to get the #1 draft pick next year! How about that? ;) ;)

iowajes

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Re: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America
« Reply #77 on: September 27, 2017, 10:27:04 AM »
I have heard a big developer purchased a large plot of land just east of Boulder along highway 36 and they are pitching it to Amazon.

Amazon is looking for low cost of living and Boulder ain't it*.


* 178, from http://www.bestplaces.net/cost_of_living/city/colorado/boulder

Also, Denver is a cow-town and I was under the impression Amazon was looking at big cities.

Denver's metro area is almost 3 million- it's in the top 20 metro areas by population.
Denver itself is 3/4 million.

That's not exactly cow-town

Cwadda

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Re: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America
« Reply #78 on: September 27, 2017, 11:09:56 AM »
I wish they would bring it to CT, but they never will.  Our state's economy is trash, and the taxes are way too high.  It's actually a decent location too, right between New York and Boston.

accolay

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Re: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America
« Reply #79 on: October 05, 2017, 01:15:55 AM »
Also, there's the old Ford Plant on Ford Parkway in St. Paul. That property would be PERFECT for them.

St Paul already has a plan for the Ford Plant, to be voted on this month I believe. Also, the traffic is already basically shit on Ford Parkway/46th Street-can't imagine what it be like with that many people working there everyday.

In other news, I'm not down with the ginormous tax breaks these megacorps get. It's embarrassing to see municipalities trip over themselves preparing packages.

accolay

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Re: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America
« Reply #80 on: October 05, 2017, 01:24:47 AM »
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.

Yeah! Go with Hiawatha golf course. (of course, the traffic on Cedar Ave. is already shit)

Edit to include my guess: voting for Detroit.

merula

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Re: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America
« Reply #81 on: October 05, 2017, 07:15:27 AM »
Also, there's the old Ford Plant on Ford Parkway in St. Paul. That property would be PERFECT for them.

St Paul already has a plan for the Ford Plant, to be voted on this month I believe. Also, the traffic is already basically shit on Ford Parkway/46th Street-can't imagine what it be like with that many people working there everyday.

In other news, I'm not down with the ginormous tax breaks these megacorps get. It's embarrassing to see municipalities trip over themselves preparing packages.

Ford Plan passed! If you were for it, don't forget that mayoral candidate Dai Thao introduced a last-minute amendment, which passed, and then voted against it.

And vote November 7th!

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.

Yeah! Go with Hiawatha golf course. (of course, the traffic on Cedar Ave. is already shit)

Edit to include my guess: voting for Detroit.

Hiawatha would be a great combo office/residential space. Close to the airport, light rail access, and lake views. Highland Park Golf Course would be better for a stand-alone corporate campus, I think.

hoping2retire35

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Re: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America
« Reply #82 on: October 05, 2017, 07:36:02 AM »
Just looked, Atlanta proper only has 420,000. So if they are looking at silly municipal lines then looks Atlanta is out...I am still hoping Greenville SC, though I am being fantastical.

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Re: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America
« Reply #83 on: October 05, 2017, 09:19:35 AM »
Looking at city-proper population (excludes contiguous suburbs where people probably say they live in city X, but don't have the same mayor) rather than metropolitan area, reduces the number of cities in the USA with populations >1M to nine. I'm guessing that's not the threshold amazon is using.
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wonkette

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Re: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America
« Reply #84 on: October 05, 2017, 09:45:30 AM »
The more I mull it over I think DC, Baltimore, or somewhere between on the MARC line stands a good chance. Time zone factor, WaPo factor, large airports, (rapidly deteriorating) public transportation, plus it is one of the most highly educated areas in the country. TBH I'm not looking forward to it because the housing market here is already insane.

accolay

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Re: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America
« Reply #85 on: October 05, 2017, 10:55:14 AM »
Hiawatha would be a great combo office/residential space. Close to the airport, light rail access, and lake views. Highland Park Golf Course would be better for a stand-alone corporate campus, I think.

Yeah you're probably right. Adding that they might have more space after they stop pumping the water out of there- maybe the houses will all be flooded?

v8rx7guy

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Re: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America
« Reply #86 on: October 05, 2017, 11:30:13 AM »
I spent 4 years in Grand Rapids and I think that would be a pretty neat city for Amazon to build their "HQ2".  Probably a little cold for some of the hipsters during the winter though...

lost_in_the_endless_aisle

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Re: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America
« Reply #87 on: October 05, 2017, 06:39:17 PM »
I spent 4 years in Grand Rapids and I think that would be a pretty neat city for Amazon to build their "HQ2".  Probably a little cold for some of the hipsters during the winter though...
The airport does not even come close to meeting Amazon's criteria.

Tucson is warmer at least but also clearly not a serious selection (but I chortled when I heard their mayor sent a cactus to Bezos).

This cursory analysis doesn't include Canada and likes NY a lot more than I think Amazon would due to less-tangible considerations, but otherwise, it's reasonable-looking ranking (the cowtown of Denver is 16th).

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Re: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America
« Reply #88 on: October 06, 2017, 07:20:28 AM »
NYC really has such a low cost of doing business compared to other cities?

bacchi

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Re: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America
« Reply #89 on: October 06, 2017, 10:25:40 AM »
NYC really has such a low cost of doing business compared to other cities?

It's the worst of the 35 other cities analyzed but it does the best in the other categories.

I'm not convinced it should be as high re: transportation. Sure, you don't need a car but taking a 1+ hour crammed train ride twice a day sucks ass. Of course, sitting in sprawling SLC traffic also sucks ass.

surfhb

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Re: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America
« Reply #90 on: October 06, 2017, 10:35:40 AM »
There's a big push to get them to come to Orange County, Ca.   

That would suck.... OC used to be such a nice uncrowned and beautiful area to live.

neverrun

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Re: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America
« Reply #91 on: October 15, 2017, 07:17:40 PM »
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.

Absolutely. I said exactly that to my husband last night. And Amazon could use a PR win. But like I said above, if it means they raze a whole neighborhood in Detroit, then I'm out. Usually these cities have large enough swathes of vacant or already razed urban space to make it work, if they're willing to build up.

I haven't been to Detroit in years, but from my recollection, there are large areas of commercial space that is vacant, and vacant office buildings.  And I love beautiful old buildings and houses, but they are falling apart as they've been abandoned for too long.  I'd rather sacrifice a few for the sake of saving the rest, at this point.  (Again, it's been years.  Things may have improved in Detroit since then.  I doubt it, though.)

I lived in Detroit from January of 2013-July of 2017.  It has been changing and improving for the better at a rapid rate in many areas.  Yes Grand Central station is still a shell but it is outside of the central downtown area.  Downtown Detroit has an extremely high occupancy rate right now and businesses are having to go father away to find commercial space.  U of M is commutable and for closer into the city there are the inner ring suburbs of Grosse Point, and Royal Oak.  Somewhere between distance to the city wise you have Rochester, Canton and Northville.  Detroit is not perfect but those that dismiss it have never been there.

elaine amj

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Re: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America
« Reply #92 on: October 16, 2017, 09:20:46 AM »
I lived in Detroit from January of 2013-July of 2017.  It has been changing and improving for the better at a rapid rate in many areas.  Yes Grand Central station is still a shell but it is outside of the central downtown area.  Downtown Detroit has an extremely high occupancy rate right now and businesses are having to go father away to find commercial space.  U of M is commutable and for closer into the city there are the inner ring suburbs of Grosse Point, and Royal Oak.  Somewhere between distance to the city wise you have Rochester, Canton and Northville.  Detroit is not perfect but those that dismiss it have never been there.

I agree, downtown Detroit has changed dramatically in just the last few years alone. It's becoming a very appealing, safe place to spend time in.

To tip the scale a bit more, Windsor, Ontario is joining up with Detroit's bid to turn this into a binational bid.

http://www.xconomy.com/detroit-ann-arbor/2017/09/21/would-a-binational-detroit-windsor-amazon-hq2-bid-be-a-game-changer/

Just about all of North America has been abuzz over Amazon’s search for a second headquarters. Dubbed HQ2, the project is expected to bring billions in investment capital to the winner, along with up to 50,000 jobs.

Like virtually every major city in America, Detroit is planning to toss its hat into the ring. But unlike most American cities, Detroit has a unique proposal: A Canadian partner. Dan Gilbert, chairman of Quicken Loans, is leading the Motor City’s submission process. According to the Detroit Free Press, Gilbert told reporters at a press conference this week that Detroit is currently “in talks” with Windsor, ON, to submit a binational bid.

“What we look for (is) ‘What are the assets that Detroit has—and we have many of them—that no city is going to be able to compete against?'” he said.

Is this just a neat marketing gimmick, or would a Detroit-Windsor submission be a “game-changer,” as the Windsor Star declared? More from the Star:

“Hearing last week that Detroit was putting in a bid, [Windsor mayor Drew] Dilkens said he e-mailed Gilbert, whose investments have been a significant factor in downtown Detroit’s economic rebirth. … ‘It would be hard to ignore our bid,’ Dilkens said. ‘It could be something no one else can offer.’”

And just what does the region have to offer? Canada is the United States’ largest trading partner, and the Detroit-Windsor border crossing was characterized by the Brookings Institution as “easily the most important of these trade depots.” It’s the busiest border crossing between the U.S. and Canada, and second-busiest in North America, second only to Laredo, TX. Here’s more from Brookings: “Detroit funnels approximately $131 billion, or nearly half, of all goods that move by truck between the U.S. and Canada. By comparison, the next highest border crossing, Buffalo, transports about one-third this value by truck ($51 billion).” Maybe it’ll have a drone delivery fleet one day, but until then, Amazon still relies on trucks to move much of its merchandise.

In its request for proposals, Amazon said it wanted to locate in a city with at least a million people that also has good transportation, access to talent, and strong schools. While Detroit’s public transit is lacking and the state’s roads are in desperate need of repair, Canada doesn’t have those issues. The universities in Southeast Michigan, including the University of Michigan and Wayne State University, reliably bolster the local workforce, but also having access to cross-border talent could help ease the immigration uncertainties that are especially prevalent in the tech industry.

Access to Canadian talent has been a key factor in Microsoft’s push for a cross-border Cascadia Innovation Corridor, linking Seattle and Vancouver. At a conference last week, several new initiatives were launched to more closely knit together researchers, innovators, and investors in the two regions.

A Detroit-Windsor HQ2 would also be located right in the middle of the nation’s automotive ecosystem, which means it has a strong manufacturing presence, close proximity to many of the industry’s decision-makers and thought leaders, and access to the largest pool of engineering talent in the country. That might be an extra incentive to a company that is also exploring autonomous vehicle development as well as assorted other mobility technologies.

Finally, there is a ton of vacant real estate in Detroit, especially if Amazon is willing to build its HQ2 outside of the immediate downtown area. A few years ago, Data Driven Detroit estimated that the city has roughly 20 square miles of vacant land, including about a square mile of empty industrial sites.

Then, there are the intangibles. Detroit is cool in an authentic, anti-try-hard way. The city is a symbol of American ingenuity and economic strength that had almost hit bottom before a feverish downtown revitalization effort kicked off earlier this decade; helping to restore some of that Detroit pride could go a long way toward boosting the country’s morale.

And despite the popular narrative, Detroit is brimming with diversity. Take a stroll down the Riverfront some afternoon—you’ll see hijab-wearing young women picnicking next to a pack of tech bros as African American families play beach volleyball and young professional types zip by on rollerblades. It might sound cheesy, but you’ll see the full breadth of humanity in all its multi-hued glory on display, having fun and enjoying the sunshine. Plus, the food in Detroit is fantastic. The city is also packed with amazing dive bars. And the music!

Gilbert, for one, is optimistic. “I think Detroit is a legit contender to win over Amazon,” he told reporters this week. “We have a legitimate shot.” Gilbert told the Free Press he has 30 or 40 people working on the bid non-stop in a “war room.” If that sounds far-fetched, consider that Gilbert has already almost single-handedly remade Detroit’s downtown, transforming derelict skyscrapers and creating jobs in the process.

Amazon already has a decent footprint in Michigan. Last week, the company announced it was moving forward with plans for a 1 million-square-foot warehouse in Shelby Township, which is expected to generate as many as 1,000 jobs. Another 1-million-square-foot fulfillment center is slated to open in Livonia this fall, creating up to 1,500 jobs. The company also has a small center in Brownstown, with similar facilities planned for Hazel Park and Romulus.

The deadline to submit HQ2 bids is Oct. 19.
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Kris

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Re: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America
« Reply #93 on: October 16, 2017, 10:01:47 AM »
Also, there's the old Ford Plant on Ford Parkway in St. Paul. That property would be PERFECT for them.

St Paul already has a plan for the Ford Plant, to be voted on this month I believe. Also, the traffic is already basically shit on Ford Parkway/46th Street-can't imagine what it be like with that many people working there everyday.

In other news, I'm not down with the ginormous tax breaks these megacorps get. It's embarrassing to see municipalities trip over themselves preparing packages.

Yes, and it will probably pass. And the more I think about it, the more I'd hate to see Amazon come to Minneapolis-St. Paul. It would likely destroy the character of any neighborhood it moved into. And our economy is doing well. Overall, I think it would end up being a huge negative. Someone else can have them.
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J Boogie

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Re: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America
« Reply #94 on: October 16, 2017, 11:44:09 AM »
Also, there's the old Ford Plant on Ford Parkway in St. Paul. That property would be PERFECT for them.

St Paul already has a plan for the Ford Plant, to be voted on this month I believe. Also, the traffic is already basically shit on Ford Parkway/46th Street-can't imagine what it be like with that many people working there everyday.

In other news, I'm not down with the ginormous tax breaks these megacorps get. It's embarrassing to see municipalities trip over themselves preparing packages.

Yes, and it will probably pass. And the more I think about it, the more I'd hate to see Amazon come to Minneapolis-St. Paul. It would likely destroy the character of any neighborhood it moved into. And our economy is doing well. Overall, I think it would end up being a huge negative. Someone else can have them.

My wife, who is from Miami, lives with me here in St. Paul.  She has a tough time understanding why I don't want to see Amazon open up shop here.

I mentioned that adding 50,000 or so (that's the number they're saying right?) jobs means they'll probably bring at least 40,000 transplants if not more.  That's a lot for a city of 300,000 (St. Paul) - that would mean our population would 15% Amazon employees (assuming they were to live here instead of the suburbs/mpls) who care very little for the city of St. Paul as they came here for their career and they'll leave for their career if that's the move to make.

She mentioned that we've absorbed a lot of Somali and Hmong people over the past couple decades and all I could say was that we did that for good reasons, not for greedy reasons.  That means the changes that we see are due to our us being an open and caring city, not an opportunistic one.

I guess I just want to see St. Paul (and Mpls, as I've lived there and love that city as well) grow in a more incremental, organic and grassroots way.  Sure we have tons of f500 companies here, don't get me wrong.  But Kris is right, we are doing just fine here, and we don't need Amazon.  Let the rust belt benefit from HQ2.  They have plenty of high quality regional universities to feed into their workforce, and they could really use some private investment.

Kris

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Re: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America
« Reply #95 on: October 16, 2017, 12:00:20 PM »
Also, there's the old Ford Plant on Ford Parkway in St. Paul. That property would be PERFECT for them.

St Paul already has a plan for the Ford Plant, to be voted on this month I believe. Also, the traffic is already basically shit on Ford Parkway/46th Street-can't imagine what it be like with that many people working there everyday.

In other news, I'm not down with the ginormous tax breaks these megacorps get. It's embarrassing to see municipalities trip over themselves preparing packages.

Yes, and it will probably pass. And the more I think about it, the more I'd hate to see Amazon come to Minneapolis-St. Paul. It would likely destroy the character of any neighborhood it moved into. And our economy is doing well. Overall, I think it would end up being a huge negative. Someone else can have them.

My wife, who is from Miami, lives with me here in St. Paul.  She has a tough time understanding why I don't want to see Amazon open up shop here.

I mentioned that adding 50,000 or so (that's the number they're saying right?) jobs means they'll probably bring at least 40,000 transplants if not more.  That's a lot for a city of 300,000 (St. Paul) - that would mean our population would 15% Amazon employees (assuming they were to live here instead of the suburbs/mpls) who care very little for the city of St. Paul as they came here for their career and they'll leave for their career if that's the move to make.

She mentioned that we've absorbed a lot of Somali and Hmong people over the past couple decades and all I could say was that we did that for good reasons, not for greedy reasons.  That means the changes that we see are due to our us being an open and caring city, not an opportunistic one.

I guess I just want to see St. Paul (and Mpls, as I've lived there and love that city as well) grow in a more incremental, organic and grassroots way.  Sure we have tons of f500 companies here, don't get me wrong.  But Kris is right, we are doing just fine here, and we don't need Amazon.  Let the rust belt benefit from HQ2.  They have plenty of high quality regional universities to feed into their workforce, and they could really use some private investment.

Exactly. Yes, we have F500 companies here, but almost all of them are home-grown. A corporate behemoth like Amazon is likely to trample all over the area it comes into, and need/expect housing infrastructure and transport hubs to be built with taxpayer money, to their specifications, on their timeline. That's a lot different from absorbing a couple of refugee communities over a couple of decades.
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Just Joe

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Re: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America
« Reply #96 on: October 17, 2017, 08:59:53 AM »
Not Atlanta if they learned their lesson in 99/00.

Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk

Atlanta is outgrowing its resources like water.

Are they looking at sites only east of the Mississippi or anywhere?

My guess is Louisville or Nashville.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2017, 03:52:10 PM by Just Joe »

Splashncash

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Re: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America
« Reply #97 on: October 30, 2017, 04:15:38 PM »
I lived in Detroit from January of 2013-July of 2017.  It has been changing and improving for the better at a rapid rate in many areas.  Yes Grand Central station is still a shell but it is outside of the central downtown area.  Downtown Detroit has an extremely high occupancy rate right now and businesses are having to go father away to find commercial space.  U of M is commutable and for closer into the city there are the inner ring suburbs of Grosse Pointe, and Royal Oak.  Somewhere between distance to the city wise you have Rochester, Canton and Northville.  Detroit is not perfect but those that dismiss it have never been there.

I agree, downtown Detroit has changed dramatically in just the last few years alone. It's becoming a very appealing, safe place to spend time in.

+1  Originally from Detroit and I agree with neverrun and elaine amj.  It has been making incredible strides over the past decade and really is an amazing place to visit with lots to do.  I hope Detroit is selected.

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accolay

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Re: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America
« Reply #98 on: November 06, 2017, 04:34:56 PM »
Yes, and it will probably pass. And the more I think about it, the more I'd hate to see Amazon come to Minneapolis-St. Paul. It would likely destroy the character of any neighborhood it moved into. And our economy is doing well. Overall, I think it would end up being a huge negative. Someone else can have them.

I agree. I'd hate them to screw up our traffic more while giving them giant tax breaks while we spend more on road infrastructure for them.

The largest problem I have with Walmart and Amazon is they are keeping their prices low with government subsidized welfare for their front line workers. They are the First and Second (Amazon to overtake the #1 spot soon) largest welfare using companies in the United States.

For the amount of money they net, it's embarrassing and frustrating they are unwilling to pay a living wage.

maizeman

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Re: Amazon to open 'HQ2' in North America
« Reply #99 on: November 06, 2017, 04:45:11 PM »
Will be interesting to see if amazon actually crosses over Wal-Mart. Amazon has been making a lot more investment in automation to reduce the number of workers needed per warehouse and the curve of workers needed per X items shipped keeps sloping downward.

Whether it is better for amazon to pay people a below living wage with the gov making up the difference, or to replace those people with robots is.... above my pay grade.
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