In case you missed it, Amazon sent America’s mayors scrambling last week with the announcement that it was looking to open a second headquarters somewhere in North America, and put out a call for city leaders to submit a proposal for why Amazon should choose their city.
Amazon’s wishlist for its new headquarters consists of requirements that many cities won’t be able to meet. For starters, It’s only considering metropolitan areas that have populations greater than 1 million, can handle up to 50,000 full-time Amazon employees, and can provide employees with access to mass transit on site. I put out a call on Twitter asking for suggestions, and came up with my personal top 5 contenders: Austin, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Columbus, and Salt Lake City.
I went with smaller metros considering that Amazon is going to be needing a lot of space for its new home. In the Request for Proposal (RFP) document, Amazon says that it will need up to 8 million square feet of office space beyond 2027, and I figured there would be less competition for office space in these cities. For reference, the Pentagon takes up 6.6 million square feet of space. Some other cities that I saw frequently floated on the Internet as contenders: Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Toronto, and Boston, the latter of which several Amazon executives are already leaning toward, according to Bloomberg.
If I had to make my list over again, I would likely add Atlanta or Dallas to the mix. 50,000 employees is a massive number — according to the Metro Atlanta chamber, the top employer in the region in 2016 was Delta, with 31,699 full-time employees. While access to office space is going to be crucial, the ability to pull from a large talent pool is going to be equally crucial. And I’m sure some Amazonians wouldn’t mind ditching rainy Seattle for the sunny South.
Personally, I’m excited to see what new nickname the city that lands the headquarters tries to come up with — a la Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who said that the arrival of the Foxconn factory would turn Wisconsin into “Wisconn Valley.” Atlamazon might be a mouthful…
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Thanks for reading,
Heartland Tech Reporter
P.S. Please enjoy this video from CNBC, “Amazon’s new headquarters is an opportunity for a state to be a new Silicon Valley.”
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