It seems everyone has an opinion on where Amazon should build its second headquarters.
Speculation and handicapping have run amok since the Seattle-based company announced it was seeking bids to accommodate what it says will be a $5 billion, 50,000-employee campus with the potential to generate billions in economic benefits.
The Seattle Times reports that more than 100 cities, states, provinces and counties in the U.S. and Canada will vie for what is shaping up to be one the greatest economic development opportunities in generations. It’s also shaping up to be one of the most expensive for taxpayers; the company’s potential incentives and tax-related subsidies tied to the new HQ2 are widely anticipated to reach in the billions.
Local officials have until Oct. 19 to submit proposals to Amazon. The company expects to announce a winner next year.
The jockeying has led to some false starts over the past week. Bloomberg, citing “a person briefed on the matter,” reported that Boston was a leading candidatefor the new “HQ2” facility. But that report was quickly shot down by Amazon. Similar canards have had a daily presence on the news wires.
“We are just getting started with the process, and every city is on an equal playing field,” Amazon spokesman Drew Herdener said not long after the Bloomberg report went live.
The New York Times made the case for why the company should pick Denver, citing Amazon’s preference for a location with strong job growth, access to skilled tech workers and a high quality of life among other criteria. And the Brookings Institution laid out why Amazon is likely to make its pick from a list of about 20 cities. Brookings stopped short of naming a leading contender, though it did note that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos recently purchased a home in Washington, D.C.
Meanwhile, The Business Journals have been speaking to experts on the ground to get a local take on why their city was best situated to land HQ2. The attached photo gallery breaks out the local developments to date.