As the deadline has passed and 238 suitors submitted applications to host the Seattle-based retail giant's second home; one thing has become evident... Cities are extremely desperate for HQ2.... and Jeff Bezos is, still, a marketing genius!
From cities such as Little Rock (who flew a 'break-up note' over HQ1), to an Irish gambling site's odds favorite, Atlanta-- to less dramatic approaches from New York City (lighting up the Empire State building in 'Amazon Orange') or the city of Kansas City (whose mayor ordered and reviewed 1,000 Amazon products); there were tons of publicity stunts used to lure Amazon.
However, through all the smoke-and-mirrors, beyond the bells-and-whistles- there are 3 key indicators that will ultimately set one city apart. Further, it makes sense for Amazon to select a city that is more East Coast based. Therefore, we will only consider cities in Central and Eastern time zones.
Amazon will be savvy enough to select a city that is positioned, on a state border. Examples of these types of cities include: Kansas City, Louisville, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Memphis, etc. HQ2 will want to leverage two state governments, to better suit their business needs. This is simple, smart politics.
Another key factor in choosing a city for HQ2 will be the current land value and real estate market. Amazon knows their selection will have an immediate impact on the economy. Therefore, they will want a city that can offer an initial buy-in bargain. Cities that match this criteria would include: Detroit, Birmingham, Columbia (SC), Tulsa, Baltimore, etc.
Lastly, Amazon understands they must look beyond the city itself- but select an entire regional campus, to procure talent and inclusion opportunities. Areas that come to mind, include: Research Triangle (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, NC), Boston-Cambridge, Smart City-Hoboken, NJ, etc. This will allow Amazon a strategic advantage, as more people work from home and intelligent warehouse space becomes more of a premium.
Honestly, I have no idea what city, Amazon will decide upon. Yet, I find it incredibly intriguing the way this process has transpired (evenso, Walmart announced plans to build a new home office in their current location). I wonder if future corporations will operate similarly- and as openly.
Let me know what city you think HQ2 will land in- and why?
Thanks for reading. Cheers!