What Happens When Amazon Decides To Find A New Home For Its HQ2?
It is official, Amazon is ready to house as many as 50,000 employees and invest as much as $5 billion in its second headquarters.
What happens when Amazon decides to find a new home for its HQ2? Well, the world goes crazy. Let’s be more precise, North America goes crazy since this seems to be the chosen region of Jeffrey P. Bezos, founder and chief executive of Amazon. The announcement represents the latest step for the online retail giant, after the recent $13.7 billion takeover of Whole Foods Market.
This new development is massive, like everything Amazon does. It would cost as much as $5 billion to build and run. In addition, the HQ2 would host as many as 50,000 employees.
“We expect HQ2 to be a full equal to our Seattle headquarters,” Bezos, said in a statement. “Amazon HQ2 will bring billions of dollars in up-front and ongoing investments, and tens of thousands of high-paying jobs. We’re excited to find a second home.”
Amazon plans to stay in its current Seattle headquarters. On the other hand, the new space will be similar in size to its current home. Cities interested in becoming the chosen location will have until October 19 to apply through a special website, and Amazon said it will make a final decision next year.
From local, state and provincial government leaders, everybody is eager to make their pitch to Amazon, but candidates must meet specific requirements to be considered. In choosing the location for HQ2, Amazon has a preference for:
- Metropolitan areas with more than one 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
According to The Washington Post, the company’s decision is likely to be as much about politics as it is about logistics and incentives. Rumor has it that Bezos is considering Canada and Mexico. John Boyd, a Princeton, N.J.-based location consultant, believes that the city of Toronto is a strong contender. It is easier to hire foreign workers than in the United States. Other cities could be: New Jersey, South Florida, Northern Virginia, and Atlanta.
Who doesn’t want to host Amazon? The current HQ in Seattle takes up 8.1 million square feet. It has 33 buildings and 24 restaurants and is welcoming more than 40,000 employees. Local communities benefit from it presence for sure. For example, the neighborhood near Seattle’s HQ wasn’t that thriving before Amazon’s arrival. Now the area is booming with high-rise office complexes, sleek apartment buildings and restaurants everywhere.
Of course, not everything is happiness. The influx of tech workers has caused a surge in housing prices. The Seattle Times reported Thursday that the median price for a house in Seattle was $730,000, up almost 17 percent in a year.
In the meantime, Bezos continues his rapid expansion.