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Unread 2017-09-07, 11:59 AM   #1
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Default Amazon is looking for a home for its 2nd HQ

6 US Cities Amazon Should Consider for its Second Headquarters

Amazon will be developing a 50,000-person "HQ2" somewhere in North America starting next year. These are our six picks of the most likely US cities.




Amazon has gotten too big for Seattle. Now it's looking to build a second headquarters somewhere in North America, and it's taking suggestions.
This morning, Amazon started soliciting offers from metropolitan areas to host a new campus for up to 50,000 employees. This "HQ2" would become a co-equal headquarters to Amazon's giant Seattle setup, the company says. The headquarters must be no more than 30 miles from a major population center and no more than 45 minutes from an international airport.




The prize here will be big, with tens of thousands of jobs and over $5 billion in investment. Expect cities and states to start falling all over each other with tax incentives and land deals. Bids are due by Oct. 19, and Amazon will make its decision next year.
Amazon has demands. Here's what it wants:
  • Metropolitan areas with more than 1 million people
  • A stable and business-friendly environment
  • Urban or suburban locations with the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent
  • Communities that think big and creatively when considering locations and real estate options
I think Amazon probably wants to get away from the West Coast, which would count out options like San Diego, Boise, Phoenix, and Denver. The expensive, crowded main metro areas of the Northeast Corridor also seem to me to be unlikely winners, because Amazon can get much more for its money elsewhere.
These are my top six suggestions, in order, of where Amazon might land in the US:
1. Kansas City





Possibly the nation's most underrated tech hub, Kansas City was one of the first Google Fiber markets and is home to Sprint. The city has terrific internet connectivity, it has been nurturing tech startups in the Crossroads neighborhood, land is affordable, the airport has nonstop flights to all the right places, and the local government has a very pro-tech stance. Kansas City's primary downside is its lack of international flights. "Kansas City International Airport" holds its title because of flights to Toronto and Cancun, which isn't the globe-spanning range Amazon wants.
2. Dallas-Fort Worth


The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is the fourth-largest metro area in the US, with more than 6 million people. It has its own tech titan in Samsung, and it's just down the road from Austin, a vibrant tech hub. It's centrally located and has one of the nation's major airports.
The Fort Worth side of the Metroplex is going through some major changes right now, with the city redeveloping downtown with a riverwalk, lakes, canals, and apartment buildings—turning the former city of stockyards into a real urban center. There's a major new entertainment district planned for 2024, and frequent commuter rail connects the city to central Dallas.
Dallas is a bit more expensive, and a bit further along in terms of development. It's positively buzzing as an urban hub, with world-class dining and nightlife, a growing public transit system, and a diverse population. That would be an easy move for Amazon.
3. Minneapolis





Minneapolis has long been a center for health tech, with the Mayo Clinic nearby. It's also the home of two of Amazon's major competitors, Target and Best Buy. Within the past year, according to the Star-Tribune, it's become a startup center as well, with startup accelerators settling in the Twin Cities. Minneapolis has a vibrant downtown and a real international airport with flights to Europe and Asia.
The city has a few down sides. Winter weather is famously awful. Amazon may not want to be too close to its major competitors. And Minnesota's employment market is so strong that Amazon would probably have to import employees from the rest of the US, rather than tapping into an existing local worker pool.
4. Pittsburgh


Pittsburgh is on the verge of being cool again. The city has two powerhouse universities, one of which—Carnegie Mellon—specializes in technology, with great potential synergies for Amazon. There's a vibrant nightlife (thanks to those universities), housing is affordable, and Amazon could say that it's revitalizing the Rust Belt. Pittsburgh is also a drivable distance from Amazon's Cincinnati cargo hub.



Pittsburgh's down side is that it isn't a transit hub. Its airport has shrunk from its glory days, and there isn't even a nonstop flight to Seattle. Its "international" flights are to Toronto, Cancun, Frankfurt, and Reykjavik. Amazon may want better connectivity.
5. Cincinnati


Mobile Nations' Derek Kessler suggests Cinci because Amazon already has a major investment there: a $1.5 billion dollar cargo hub. Cinci is certainly affordable, with a historic downtown that's been in the midst of redevelopment.
Cincinnati's greatest weakness is that it's terminally uncool. The city lacks high-profile universities or a nationally known arts, entertainment, or technology scene. Its reputation for being a quiet, relaxing place to raise a family is a minus when competing with places like San Francisco for young techies. The city also has awful public transportation, and Amazon likes public transit.
6. Charlotte





Probably the best East Coast pick, Charlotte is a finance and financial-technology center with affordable land, an educated workforce, and a great airport.
Charlotte's down side is that, like Cincinnati, it really lacks urban cachet for a company that prides itself on its urban experiments. The North Carolina state government has also been at loggerheads with Amazon over development of a wind farm and the state's previous anti-gay HB2 law, and Jeff Bezos may just not want to do a deal there.
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Unread 2017-09-07, 02:47 PM   #2
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Amazon is planning a second headquarters, and Kansas City is planning to make a pitch for it. AP file photo
Amazon is planning a second headquarters, and Kansas City is planning to make a pitch for it. AP file photo

Business

KC will make ‘aggressive’ bid for Amazon’s second headquarters, and its 50,000 jobs


<LI class=email>


Kansas City intends to make a serious bid to be Amazon’s planned second headquarters.
“Kansas City will compete,” Mayor Sly James tweeted Thursday morning, saying he had asked City Manager Troy Schulte and the Economic Development Corporation Kansas City to help him put together a team to respond to the company’s request for proposals.


The Kansas City Area Development Council also announced Thursday that it would submit a proposal on behalf the metro area.


Quote:
Mayor Sly James @MayorSlyJames
I've asked @KCMOManager and #EDCKC to help me put together a team to respond to https://www.amazon.com/b?ie=UTF8&node=17044620011 …. #KansasCity will compete!
11:57 AM - Sep 7, 2017




“This is an exciting and unprecedented opportunity for our KC region and we are taking immediate action to assemble our regional team, and compile the most compelling business case for Amazon,” the agency said in a statement.




The online shopping behemoth announced Thursday that it expected to invest $5 billion in Amazon HQ2, which the company said would grow to offer as many as 50,000 “high-paying” jobs.
By “high-paying jobs,” Amazon officials said that meant positions making $100,000 or more.
In addition to its direct investment, the company said its second headquarters in North America would create tens of thousands of additional jobs and tens of billions of dollars in investment in the surrounding community.
Amazon said the second headquarters would be “a full equal to our current campus in Seattle.”
The Area Development Council said it would lead the regional effort “in partnership with our communities, states, workforce, education, utility, corporate and philanthropic partners.


“We have been in touch with the appropriate people at Amazon and we are moving quickly to put the KC region in the best possible light.”
The statement said the region will not respond by taking the “average route” to the request for proposals.
“We will be extremely creative and aggressive in technical workforce development as well as space, city transit, financial incentives, educational assets, cultural amenities, air transportation, and more,” the statement concluded.
Amazon currently occupies 19 percent of all office space in Seattle, where its presence is more than twice as large as any other company in any other U.S. city, according to the Seattle Times. It occupies more space than the next top 40 employers in the city combined.
Amazon estimates that its investments in Seattle from 2010 through 2016 resulted in an additional $38 billion to the city’s economy.







Amazon is a publicly traded U.S. corporation with more than 380,000 employees in North America and throughout the world.
“Due to the successful growth of the company, it now requires a second corporate headquarters in North America,” Amazon said.
Amazon said its preference is for a metro area with more than 1 million people, a stable and business-friendly environment and a community that thinks “big and creatively.”
The company said its second headquarters does not have to be a downtown campus or similar in layout to the Seattle campus and it does not necessarily require a development-prepped site.
Amazon will require 500,000 square feet initially and eventually up to 8 million square feet. That would dwarf the Cerner campus in south Kansas City.
The deadline for submitting proposals is Oct. 19.
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Unread 2017-09-07, 02:58 PM   #3
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With the new airport being constructed that could help KC

Seems like KC vs. Dallas. That's a tough fight.
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Unread 2017-09-07, 03:17 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by turbotuner20v View Post
With the new airport being constructed that could help KC

Seems like KC vs. Dallas. That's a tough fight.
It's not just KC/Dallas. There are a lot of first class cities lining up for this.

Chicago, Toronto, Denver, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Boston, Columbus, Detroit, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Vancouver and Washington D.C.

http://money.cnn.com/2017/09/07/tech...ies/index.html
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Unread 2017-09-07, 05:09 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by ForcFed93 View Post
It's not just KC/Dallas. There are a lot of first class cities lining up for this.

Chicago, Toronto, Denver, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Boston, Columbus, Detroit, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Vancouver and Washington D.C.

http://money.cnn.com/2017/09/07/tech...ies/index.html
Many of those cities are expensive already and would likely not offer that strong of an incentive package to cover the cost of the campus. They're almost too '1st class'.

Kansas City covered $1.6B of the $4.3B Cerner campus

The Kansas side has the land, but may not be able to fund as much w/ the tax issues going on.
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Unread 2017-10-06, 06:26 PM   #6
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What is Kansas City’s plan for Amazon’s second headquarters? It’s a secret


The tantalizing prospect of landing Amazon’s second headquarters — a $5 billion prize promising 50,000 jobs — has cities scurrying to woo the tech giant with public pitches and grand gestures.
In Dallas, the city teamed up with a major developer and the parent company of The Dallas Morning News to unveil a 50-acre downtown location for a future Amazon campus.
In Birmingham, Alabama, enormous Amazon delivery boxes have been strategically placed around the city. The mayor touted the need for “something very dramatic to get the attention of Amazon and the public to let them know we’re serious about it.”




Tucson loaded a 21-foot Saguaro cactus onto a flatbed, a gift for Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. He declined.
The prickly gift isn’t the sort of enticement that Amazon is seeking. Tax breaks and other incentives will gladly be accepted.

So what about Kansas City’s bid to land Amazon’s HQ2?
It’s awfully quiet here. There have been no public pronouncements, no elaborate unveiling of potential sites and no visible efforts to engage residents in this effort or convince Amazon that we are a serious contender.
Those close to the process have suggested that the dearth of details is a result of a non-disclosure agreement between the Kansas City Area Development Council, which is coordinating our bid, and Amazon.
Tim Cowden, president and CEO, noted the council’s “responsibility to protect our region’s competitive advantage,” in a statement.
“There is nothing we can do at this stage to lock in a win for the KC region. There are, however, a long list of things we can do to lose it,” Cowden said. “We are preparing to build a relationship with Amazon, listening to their vision and needs for HQ2 and customizing how KC will respond.”
Proposals are due October 19. About 200 people, including leaders from both sides of the state line are involved in the regional effort.
The collaboration is laudable. The secrecy is not.
In its request for proposals, Amazon does say that cities making a bid must abide by a non-disclosure agreement, noting “certain aspects of the project and details regarding the company are confidential, proprietary, and constitute trade secrets.”
Fine. But that’s aimed at keeping a lid on Amazon’s proprietary information — not the cities’ best arguments about why they would be perfect for HQ2. Other contender cities that are playing by the same Amazon-imposed rules have managed to make more information public.
If Kansas City’s shroud of secrecy feels familiar, it is. Doing business behind closed doors too often seems to be the standard operating procedure for local leaders.
Kansas City officials tried to push through a secret plan for Burns & McDonnell to build a $1 billion airport terminal. That backfired. Another firm was eventually chosen.
In Tonganoxie, Tyson Foods made a surprise announcement that it would build a plant, which was news to residents. That backfired. After opposition mounted, Tyson put its plans “on hold.”
Working completely behind the scenes on the Amazon bid cuts members of the community out of the process, tamping down enthusiasm by limiting input to a select few.
In its request for proposals, Amazon says it “welcomes the opportunity” to engage with cities in the creation of an incentive package. Kansas City-area residents shouldn’t be left wondering what local officials are offering up or where they’re looking to locate a sprawling campus that would be a game-changer for the region.








Kansas City area leaders are diligently working to prepare the region’s proposal for landing Amazon’s second headquarters. Want more details? Nope, they’re not offering any. Dreamstime TNS

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Unread 2017-10-06, 09:39 PM   #7
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Red states, blue states: Which have a better chance of landing Amazon’s HQ2?


In Kansas, conservative tax policies have beset the state with budget woes and education financing that state courts consistently say is unconstitutional. In Missouri, lawmakers have dallied with the identity politics that repelled businesses from North Carolina.


Would a progressive company like Amazon seriously consider Kansas City, a city nestled between two deeply red states, for its second headquarters and its 50,000 jobs?
The answer isn’t so simple. It’s true that corporations have shied away from states entangled in policies born from identity politics, like gay rights and transgender bathroom issues.
“That would be a nonstarter for any corporation — look what happened to North Carolina’’ with a 2016 transgender bathroom law, said John Boyd, a corporate relocation adviser based in Philadelphia. “Amazon is a progressive company, ultra-progressive in terms of politics.”
It’s also true that corporations and their employees, especially younger ones, value education in choosing where they want to go.

But red states have upsides for companies like Amazon — low tax and regulatory environments. And blue states can be a pain — higher taxes and a more measured approach to offering taxpayer incentives.
“One of the reasons (Amazon founder Jeff) Bezos is looking to leave Seattle is it has an incredibly hostile environment,” said Joel Kotkin, a geographer and prolific author on urban and suburban planning.
“They’re trying to pass a wealth tax, there’s a high minimum wage. I’m not necessarily sure that a more conservative political environment is not completely a negative for Amazon.”
As Amazon is calling its second headquarters HQ2. Cities have until Oct. 19 to submit their proposals in hopes of convincing the company of their merits.
In most any city, and certainly in Kansas City, Amazon would become the largest employer.
And while cities are leading the push for HQ2, state legislatures are sure to play a role, ranging from crafting incentive packages for Amazon to setting labor, education and social policies that may affect Amazon’s thinking.
Why a red state might work for Amazon

Kotkin, who is advising the Kansas City Area Development Council on its effort to land HQ2, said conservative state legislatures enact policies that are more welcoming to businesses than liberal, coastal states.
What red, inland states lack in natural amenities coveted by in-demand workers — mountains, beaches — they strive to make up for with pro-business policies in order to compete with coastal cities.
Lower taxes and more permissiveness for companies in what’s called the “disruption economy” — Uber, Lyft and Amazon, as a few examples — could stand in the Midwest’s favor.
“The tech guys like to see themselves as being progressive but they don’t want to give up their money, they don’t want to give up their power,” Kotkin said. “The left is among the most hostile to Uber, to Amazon, to the disruption economy. Not necessarily for bad reasons.”
Other factors like right-to-work laws in effect in both Kansas and Missouri — Amazon is not regarded as a union-friendly company — could also help Kansas City’s chances.
“If you’re the red state, one you’re going to have a lot of the business-friendly policies that Amazon is looking for in terms of low regulation, low cost, lower taxes,” said Aaron Renn, a senior fellow with the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research who has been closely following Amazon’s pursuit of HQ2.
“Chances are you’ve also got a legislature that is very keen to cater to the needs of business, even overly cater to business.”
That may be helpful when it comes to crafting special legislation for tailored incentive packages for Amazon.
Both Kansas and Missouri have long track records offering new and special incentives for large companies and developments. Kansas in the late 1990s assembled sales tax revenue bond (called STAR bonds) that shortly after lured NASCAR’s Kansas Speedway to Wyandotte County.
Missouri has also assembled what’s referred to as “megadeal” legislation in the past.
Special incentives for a Bombardier manufacturing plant near Kansas City International Airport and a Boeing operation in St. Louis were passed by the Missouri General Assembly within the last 10 years, although neither company bit on Missouri. But similar measures were helpful in expanding the Ford Assembly Plant in Claycomo.
Former Kansas City Mayor Mark Funkhouser said social issue baggage tied to the conservative legislatures didn’t come into play when companies expressed interest in Kansas City. He said it mostly came down to how much public money




Kansas City Manager Troy Schulte discusses the city’s prospects for winning the Amazon headquarters with The Star's editorial board members Colleen McCain Nelson and Melinda Henneberger.


Colleen McCain Nelson, Melinda Henneberger, and Beth Welsh The Kansas City Star


“The only thing that came up is essentially how much money would they give us,” Funkhouser said. “The social issues thing never came up.”
One exception Funkhouser recalled was in 2007 when the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in Kansas City suspended plans for a $300 million expansion due to efforts in the Missouri General Assembly to limit stem cell research.
“But that was it,” Funkhouser said.
Why a red state might not work for Amazon

Experts in corporate relocation downplay the effect that social policies have on business decisions, so long as they don’t veer too far into LGBTQ and transgender issues.
North Carolina suffered significant backlash when it passed a transgender bathroom bill in 2016.
The NCAA said it would not hold tournament events in North Carolina, where college football and college basketball would otherwise be especially popular draws. PayPal abandoned plans for a facility that was expected to add more than $2 billion to the state’s economy.
North Carolina lawmakers eventually relented and repealed the bill earlier this year.
Missouri and Kansas have dabbled in similar legislative pursuits, but the more stringent social issue laws never passed amid backlash from business communities in Kansas City and Missouri.
More detrimental to Kansas City’s chances for Amazon HQ2 is education policy in both states.
Earlier this week, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled once again that the state’s funding formula for elementary and secondary education is unconstitutional.
That could be a concern for Amazon, particularly for those employees that the company might relocate to Kansas City if there’s a perception of pressure from the legislature on K-12 education for their children.
“Absolutely the No. 1 one concern from every transferee is schools,” said Bill Mulholland, director at American Relocation Connections in Washington D.C., a firm that assists companies in moving locations. “That’s what everything revolves around.”
Similarly, the Missouri General Assembly has had its clashes with the University of Missouri System. A leading factor from Amazon’s request for proposals was a strong university system that could provide a pipeline of highly educated talent for its workforce.
“The academic community in Kansas City is not as robust as in St. Louis,” said Boyd. “St. Louis brings Washington University, St. Louis University, University of Missouri-St. Louis is recognized player in that market. That’s not a strength of the (Kansas City) market.”
What does it all mean?

Experts suggest state legislatures in both Kansas and Missouri could break either way for Kansas City’s chances on HQ2.
Renn said states like Texas, which have social policies that are arguably further to the right than Kansas or Missouri, has little trouble attracting business interest.
“Texas is a very red state, Austin is booming with tech companies,” Renn said. “If the Texas legislature hasn’t hurt Austin because of red state social policies, it’s unlikely that yours is either.”
Kotkin points out that it bodes well for the moderate political climes in Kansas City that Missouri and Kansas have not gone as far as other states into social issues.
“In Missouri and Kansas, your problem might be from the right,” Kotkin said. “In Washington and California, your problems are from the left and it’s which problem do you think is the bigger problem?”
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Unread 2017-10-11, 11:13 AM   #8
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Mayor Sly James hints at Amazon announcement in tweet




With a few words and a picture at his desk surrounded by Amazon shipping boxes, KC Mayor Sly James created talk about his upcoming news conference, scheduled for Wednesday at 3 p.m.

“I've been busy online shopping. Find out why at 3 pm,” James wrote.


Last month, The Star reported on Kansas City’s prospects of landing a deal to bring Amazon’s second headquarters to the city. The company has said its HQ2 colossus would bring with it a $38 billion economic jolt, as well as employ up to 50,000 people.

Though there has been much speculation on where in the U.S. the headquarters will land, and some have chosen KC as a top contender, an analysis by The New York Times didn’t have KC in the top half on a list of 50 cities.






James’ office did not immediately return a request for comment Wednesday morning in reference to his tweet.
Proposals to Amazon are not due until Oct. 19.


James’ office earlier said in a statement:
“This is going to be an effort we work hard to compete for. Kansas City and our regional partners will be able to present a community that's dynamic, innovative, built for the future and growing. The mayor looks forward to this process and the chance to display what makes the city the best place in the country to live, work, and raise a family.”
At least one person on Twitter wondered if there were hordes of new bow ties — a penchant of the mayor’s wardrobe — contained in the Amazon boxes.
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Unread 2017-10-11, 09:46 PM   #9
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It'd be really fucking sweet if they did. I'm about to graduate with a degree in Supply Chain Management from KU and I would love to get a job with them in their headquarters rather than doing warehouse shit.
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your just a dumb ass fuck this im done with these dumdasses!.
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Unread 2017-10-11, 09:51 PM   #10
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Kansas City mayor gives 1,000 Amazon products five stars in hopes of securing second headquarters



Following the trend of desperate cities vying for Amazon to choose them as its second headquarters, Kansas City’s mayor bought 1,000 Amazon products today and reviewed them on the company’s website. But don’t worry, all the products are going to charity.
Amazon is asking cities to woo the company by October 19th with incentives like tax credits, relocation grants, fee reductions, and more in order to get chosen as the company’s second headquarters. Amazon’s main headquarters is Seattle, Washington, so that state is probably out of the running, but other major contenders include Dallas and New York.
Mayor Sly James is quite on trend, promoting his efforts on Facebook and Twitter, even branding his video as an “unboxing” video, like what YouTubers make to show off their hauls. He called it, “a reason for Amazon to come to KC.”

James gave all 1,000 products five stars, as a thank you to Amazon, and wrote a meticulous paragraph for each product, with gems like, “Oh baby, this baby oil is a real treat! If you’re looking for a deal on baby moisturizer, you found it” and, “10/10 would recommend this horse bag.” Of course, James didn’t neglect the opportunity to mention Kansas City in every single review.
James purchased eclectic items like children’s halloween costumes, local Kansas City band Taj Mahal’s original album, and wind chimes. Writing 1,000 reviews for Amazon seems creative if rather desperate, but then again, another city has already offered to rename itself Amazon, Georgia.
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Unread 2017-10-19, 10:13 AM   #11
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Why Amazon’s New $5 Billion Headquarters May Ruin Your City



There may be a few good reasons not to add your city to Amazon's shopping cart.
Formal bids in the nationwide search for Amazon's second headquarters are due Thursday, and cities have been pulling out all the stops to attract the $479 billion retail behemoth. From the 21-foot cactus that Tucson, Arizona, shipped to Amazon's Seattle headquarters, to the giant Amazon packages that Birmingham, Alabama, placed around its city center, the nation's mayors, residents and business leaders clearly believe that having one of the world's most valuable companies move into town is a golden ticket to economic prosperity.
But although the $5 billion project is sure to inject billions of dollars into the local economy and provide work for thousands of residents, some economists are warning that hosting the retail giant could bring on some equally giant headaches.




Amazon headquarters race has cities battling for bid 2:44
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"It feels like 'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,'" Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, told NBC News. "It's a real prize, but they're going to need to be very disciplined. It's a big deal, a big project with lots of moving parts."
While residents of the chosen city will likely reap the benefits of high-paying jobs and skyrocketing property values, they may also have to contend with some pain points as Amazon gets settled.
Traffic jams and labor pains

"It's a big construction project, and all large projects can be a bit of a nuisance to the existing residents," Zandi said of the proposed eight-million-square-foot headquarters.
For a start, that means an influx of construction workers and materials coming to and from the site. This will raise the cost of labor for other businesses, Zandi said, since Amazon will be competing for workers.
"People will move in to take the jobs, but it will probably put pressure on other businesses in the community who have the same labor pool," he said. "Some businesses might not be that excited."
Traffic patterns in the chosen city will also be forever changed as thousands of workers commute to and from the new headquarters. Amazon is targeting metropolitan areas with more than one million people and within a 45-minute drive to an international airport.
"There could be all kinds of traffic problems associated with a burst of construction and a change in location of employment," Gary Burtless, an economist at the Brookings Institution, told NBC News.
And, while traffic jams may already be a way of life in cities like Phoenix and Chicago, they're "the kinds of problems cities like Buffalo and Rochester and St. Louis dream of having," he said, noting that these are "problems of prosperity."
However, Tom Kucharski, president and CEO of Invest Buffalo Niagara — which is launching a joint bid with neighboring Rochester — said he sees the benefit of Amazon choosing a city looking for a resurgence.
A worker gathers items for delivery from the warehouse floor at Amazon's distribution center in Phoenix on Nov. 22, 2013. Ralph D. Friso / Reuters file
"The benefit we have is, through the structural reordering of industries over the past 100 years, we have infrastructures that can accommodate new investments in rail, airports can ramp up greater service," Kucharski said. "Where a lot of other communities may struggle with housing and workforce, we are sitting here ready for this opportunity."
Concerned communities

As the window comes to a close this week, 73 community groups from around the United States signed an open letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos asking for the company to make some commitments to the cities under consideration.
"We love jobs, we love technology, and we love convenience — but what you’re looking for will impact every part of our cities," the letter said. "We built these cities, and we want to make sure they remain ours."
The signatories want promises from Amazon on everything from transparency and taxes to jobs and housing.
That means asking for commitments on affordable housing, a promise to hire locally for construction jobs, and pledging to pay property taxes and sales tax on HQ2 building materials, and declining to sell its corporate income tax credits to other companies.
“It has to be the right fit, not just for the company but for the entire community.” “We need to make sure that Amazon commits to clear and enforceable benefits to any community they would move into," said Dorian Warren, vice president of the Center for Community Change, a national community organizing group.
"This means, among other things, a commitment to hire locally for the many jobs that will be created, taking proactive steps to avoid gentrification and displacement of poor and working class residents, and to pay their full taxes like the rest of us," he said.
Housing boom — or bust

For some homeowners, when big technology companies move into town, it can be like winning the jackpot as housing prices skyrocket.
Home values in Seattle, the site of Amazon's sprawling and still expanding original headquarters, have jumped more than 11 percent in the last year compared to a 6.9 percent annual average, according to Zillow.
But for renters, the housing boom can be a nightmare, driving lower income people farther outside of town.
Seattle rents jumped 7.2 percent, according to the same index, well above the national average of 1.2 percent.
It's something Silicon Valley is also being forced to consider. In the tech-focused San Francisco Bay area, many police officers, teachers, firefighters, and other professionals essential to keeping a city safe and thriving have already been priced out and are instead forced to commute into the city where they work.
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the charitable foundation that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg co-founded with his wife, Priscilla Chan, has already donated $3.6 million to help with the San Francisco housing crisis.
While Burtless said this is the kind of opportunity that keeps local development offices "salivating," San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Nelson Wolff, a Bexar County judge, announced in an open letter to Bezos why the Texas city isn't submitting a proposal.
"Blindly giving away the farm isn’t our style,” they wrote in the letter. “It has to be the right fit, not just for the company but for the entire community."
While they were complimentary of Bezos and Amazon, the city's leadership ultimately decided their mix of real estate and incentives wouldn't make them the most attractive candidate for Amazon, according to a statement given to the San Antonio Business Journal.
In fact, Nirenberg even believes Amazon already has its mind made up — but isn't saying just yet.
"We've long been impressed by Amazon and its bold view of the future," he wrote. "Given this, it's hard to imagine that a forward-thinking company like Amazon hasn't already selected its preferred location."
Either way, it's not likely that the final answer will be announced any time soon. After Thursday's bid deadline, Amazon may take a year to announce its decision.
Vying for attention

"This is about as big of a project I can ever remember," Zandi said. "There will be growing pains, but it will be well worth it, I am sure. I don't think any city would go wrong if Amazon chose their site for expansion."
Look no further than what Amazon did for Seattle: The company's investments in the city from 2010 to 2016 added $38 billion to the city's economy, according to data provided by Amazon.
Or, to put that in simpler terms: For every $1 Amazon invested, the company said it added $1.40 to the local economy.
While each city has made its own particular case, Moody's scored the competing cities in five categories: business environment, human capital, cost, quality of life, and transportation and geography.
Using a data-driven approach, it found Austin, Texas, was in first place, with Atlanta a close second. Philadelphia, the Rochester-Buffalo joint bid, and Pittsburgh rounded out the top five.
Ultimately, the winning factor will likely be the good will of residents, said Zandi.
"Amazon wants to be welcomed by the community. If there are people protesting or objecting, I would think it would have an impact on Amazon's location decision," he said. "They want to make sure the community wants them as much as they want to be there."
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Unread 2017-10-20, 02:50 PM   #12
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Amazon’s first deadline for cities to submit proposals for HQ2 came and went on Oct. 19. The Kansas City area submitted an expansive offer to the company for its second headquarters building. Richard Drew AP
Amazon’s first deadline for cities to submit proposals for HQ2 came and went on Oct. 19. The Kansas City area submitted an expansive offer to the company for its second headquarters building. Richard Drew AP


KC area’s secret bid for Amazon HQ2 offers a few sites. Where could it go?




By most accounts, the Kansas City Area Development Council made Kansas City look welcoming and promising with an expansive proposal Thursday to attract Amazon’s second headquarters campus.
Aside from a lengthy list of prepared statements from local leaders, the KCADC kept details of the proposal secret, although some talk about possible sites included in the bid did surface.
The proposal landed in Amazon’s hands as the company now weighs Kansas City with dozens of other cities that hope to win Amazon HQ2’s 50,000 jobs and $5 billion investment. The company’s decision is expected next year.
The KCADC said the project is competitive, which requires keeping the details closely held. Those connected to the Amazon effort have signed nondisclosure agreements that forbid them from speaking publicly.

Still, some details started to surface on Thursday. In keeping with the bi-state nature of Kansas City’s proposal, a number of sites on both sides of the state line were offered up.




Independence Mayor Eileen Weir confirmed that a 100-acre undeveloped tract along the north side of Interstate 70 and Little Blue Parkway was included in the KCADC proposal.
“It really landed on that site because of the transportation available, being near the highway,” Weir said. “There was rail access.”
Kansas City, Kan., was said to have attractive sites in the proposal, both on the western and central areas of the city.
Unified Government of Wyandotte County/KCK declined to identify the precise properties.
“We did submit sites, multiple sites in KCK where we would to have it,” Holland said. “It would be a big win for the metro area.”


Other areas said to be in the running include the Riverfront and downtown Kansas City, Olathe, Platte and Clay counties and Lee’s Summit.
Weir said she understood that Amazon was likely keen on settling on one location, wherever the company decides to go, rather than splitting HQ2 among several locations within one metro.
Missouri, however, decided to take its chances with a bid of its own that would encourage Amazon to contemplate locating in both Kansas City and St. Louis.
“What we are challenging Amazon to consider is, imagine the power if you can combine both cities into one plan for developing HQ2,” said Drew Erdmann, chief operating officer in Gov. Eric Greitens’ office, in an interview with The Star.
“And we believe this is a bold transformative vision for the state and for the region and suits the ambitions of Amazon.”


The result, Erdmann believes, in a “Innovation Corridor” along Interstate 70 that would include Columbia and the University of Missouri in between both cities.
Erdmann also suggested both cities might be linked up some day by a Hyperloop connection — a vacuum train that transports passengers at ultra-high speeds — that could give Missouri’s idea additional appeal.
Missouri’s proposal was separate from Kansas City’s and St. Louis’ offers.
No details emerged about what type of incentives local and state lawmakers might offer Amazon. Whatever combination is under consideration, the price tag figures to be substantial.
New Jersey said earlier this week that it was ready to offer upwards of $7 billion in incentives to Amazon. Maryland may be in the same company; a headline in the Baltimore Sun said Maryland’s incentive packages could be “measured in the billions of dollars.”
Both Kansas and Missouri have pursued extraordinary incentive packages aimed at landing businesses in the past, and they sounded on Thursday like they were prepared to do it again for Amazon.
“We have been preparing for an opportunity like Amazon’s HQ2 for a generation,” Kansas Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer said in a written statement.
“We want to create with Amazon the most prosperous and livable region in North America, right here in the heart of it. The Kansas City region recognizes the importance of redefining the workforce of the future through top notch education. We are building Amazon’s next generation of pioneers to be both skilled and empowered and we’re excited to redefine the next generation of talent with Amazon.”
Amazon has kept quiet about its next steps. It’s not sure yet whether it will make a short list of cities it likes, as is often the case with corporate location decisions, and follow up with site visits.
But it’s fair to say it will have plenty of choices to sort through. Amazon said any city hoping to get HQ2 had to start with at least 1 million people. That leaves roughly 50 metro areas that qualify on that basis alone.
Many cities that size or higher expressed interest in HQ2, few didn’t. Little Rock, Ark., took out a full-page advertisement in the Washington Post, which Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns, saying it was not interested in soliciting HQ2.
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that he felt no need to offer Amazon a penny of incentives.
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Unread 2017-10-26, 03:40 PM   #13
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It's prob going to Atlanta.
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Unread 2017-10-26, 04:23 PM   #14
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Not KC for sure.
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Unread 2017-10-26, 06:58 PM   #15
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ATL or Austin
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Unread 2017-10-26, 07:58 PM   #16
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ATL or Austin
I have always thought Austin. Decent city cheap labor centeally located and close to mexico.
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Unread 2017-10-26, 09:21 PM   #17
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I honestly don't know why KC residents think we have a shot. Amazon had "requirements" when they made this announcement. Like a metro with 1M residents, Int'l airport, mass transit, tech knowledge and candidate pool.
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Unread 2017-10-27, 07:02 AM   #18
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I honestly don't know why KC residents think we have a shot. Amazon had "requirements" when they made this announcement. Like a metro with 1M residents, Int'l airport, mass transit, tech knowledge and candidate pool.
Well, we sorta don't have mass transit (but consider the 2 mile tram or our sort of sporadic bus system). We have all the rest though, especially considering we are building a new airport. KC is a very techy city.

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Unread 2017-10-27, 08:30 AM   #19
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Well, we sorta don't have mass transit (but consider the 2 mile tram or our sort of sporadic bus system). We have all the rest though, especially considering we are building a new airport. KC is a very techy city.
Eh. Kinda. I mean Boston is on the short list too. Can't compete with MIT and their transit.

KC could be a good contender. But we have too many goddamn idiots that don't want to invest money into the city i.e. airport, light rail, street car, etc. They're all hell bent on "fix er roadz, or fix er werter pipes."
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Unread 2017-10-27, 09:02 AM   #20
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fix er werter pipes."


I think of all people, Keboh appreciates a good piping
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Unread 2017-10-27, 09:24 AM   #21
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Well, we sorta don't have mass transit (but consider the 2 mile tram or our sort of sporadic bus system). We have all the rest though, especially considering we are building a new airport. KC is a very techy city.
New airport is still not going to hold a candle to ATL for volume and flight availability. Its not a hub.
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Unread 2017-10-27, 09:37 AM   #22
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New airport is still not going to hold a candle to ATL for volume and flight availability. Its not a hub.
ATL's airport is nuts, isn't it the busiest in the US?

One reason I could see DFW is that we have a good size hub airport (Alliance) that is literally no commercial, and UPS and FedEx have giant hubs here. That and DFW & Love field for commercial flights.
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Unread 2017-10-27, 09:56 AM   #23
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Busiest in the world.

I guess it really just depends on what they are doing with this HQ. We already are a distribution hub for them, Atlanta is the SE transportation hub even beyond flights. But the commercial air traffic is a big deal too.

A lot of places have been moving here. Not sure if its a tax thing or what but I was kind of surprised that Porsche chose Atlanta. Especially since they just doubled the facility and built that massive track/testing area. Def not going anywhere soon, spent billions on that complex. Triumph US is here now too. Merc, GE's IT division, etc.
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Unread 2017-10-27, 10:19 AM   #24
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Busiest in the world.

I guess it really just depends on what they are doing with this HQ. We already are a distribution hub for them, Atlanta is the SE transportation hub even beyond flights. But the commercial air traffic is a big deal too.

A lot of places have been moving here. Not sure if its a tax thing or what but I was kind of surprised that Porsche chose Atlanta. Especially since they just doubled the facility and built that massive track/testing area. Def not going anywhere soon, spent billions on that complex. Triumph US is here now too. Merc, GE's IT division, etc.
I know a lot of movie stuff moved to Atlanta due to incentives, probably the same for other business/industries.
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Unread 2017-10-27, 10:30 AM   #25
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Stl should've offered them the airport on $1/year lease for 15 years.
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