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How Amazon Picked HQ2 and Jilted 236 Cities

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Is it HQ2, or HQ2A and HQ2B?  I see the leftist leaders at least in NY are taking heat from their further left brethren.

 

By

Laura Stevens and Shayndi Raice
Updated Nov. 14, 2018 1:05 a.m. ET
 

In late summer, officials in Northern Virginia were surprised by a rumor that Amazon.com Inc. AMZN -0.35% was going to divide its giant second headquarters—known as HQ2—between two cities.

They had grown confident of landing one of the biggest corporate-development projects in memory, with the prospect of 50,000 jobs and billions of dollars in investments within tantalizing reach of the Crystal City neighborhood in Arlington, Va.

 

Weeks earlier, they had impressed Amazon’s site-selection team during meetings that ended with appetizers at Stomping Ground restaurant. Together, they drank beer and ate mini chicken biscuits, with a Gay Pride flag hanging out front.

 

Then came the curveball. Amazon confirmed the two-city rumor in a phone call. What neither Northern Virginia nor the other 20 finalists realized was that some Amazon executives had started to believe months earlier that no one city had enough technical talent to accommodate the company’s projected growth, according to people familiar with the company’s thinking. The company decided in September it would split HQ2 in two.

On Tuesday, Amazon announced it would split HQ2 evenly between Northern Virginia and New York’s Long Island City, while giving Nashville, Tenn., the consolation prize of an operations facility and the promise of 5,000 jobs.

What felt like a jilt to the losers showed just how much of a hold Amazon exerted on a swath of American cities. Some of the more than 200 applicants had invested hundreds of thousands of dollars to woo the company on the promise that HQ2 would reshape their local economies.

Where the Cities Stand

Amazon selected Arlington County’s Crystal City and New York’s Long Island City as locations for its second headquarters operations.

B3-CJ445_backgr_16U_20181113201753.jpg

New York

N. Virginia

Average

Key:

Range from min. to max. of values for the 19 U.S. sites shortlisted

Transportation and housing

Industry and workforce

Transit ridership, as a percentage of workers

Business state tax climate, ranked

%

20

10

40

30

Fortune 500 company headquarters, by city

One-way commute time, average

minutes

Monthly housing cost, average

Tech labor force

thousand

thousand

$

Education

Culture

Coffee and tea shops, per capita

College-educated population

million

Number of farmer markets, by city

Tech degrees from 2011-16

thousand

B3-CJ445_backgr_12U_20181113201753.jpg

N. Virginia

Average

New York

Key:

Range from min. to max. of values for the 19 U.S. sites shortlisted

Industry and workforce

Transportation and housing

Transit ridership, as a percentage of workers

Business state tax climate, ranked

20

30

10

40

%

Fortune 500 company headquarters, by city

One-way commute time, average

min.

Monthly housing cost, average

Tech labor force

thsd.

$

thsd.

Education

Culture

Coffee and tea shops, per capita

College-educated population

mln.

Number of farmer markets, by city

Tech degrees from 2011-16

thsd.

B3-CJ445_backgr_8U_20181113201753.jpg

New York

N. Virginia

Average

Key:

Range from min. to max. of values for the 19 U.S. sites shortlisted

Industry and workforce

Transportation and housing

Transit ridership, as a percentage of workers

Business state tax climate, ranked

%

10

20

40

30

Fortune 500 company headquarters, by city

One-way commute time, average

minutes

Tech labor force

Monthly housing cost, average

thousand

$

thousand

Culture

Education

Coffee and tea shops, per capita

College-educated population

million

Number of farmer markets, by city

Tech degrees from 2011-16

thousand

B3-CJ445_backgr_4U_20181113201753.jpg

New York

N. Virginia

Average

Key:

Range from min. to max. of values for the 19 U.S. sites shortlisted

Industry and workforce

Business state tax climate, ranked

20

40

30

10

Fortune 500 company headquarters, by city

Tech labor force

thousand

Education

College-educated population

million

Tech degrees from 2011-16

thousand

Transportation and housing

Transit ridership, as a percentage of workers

%

One-way commute time, average

minutes

Monthly housing cost, average

$

thousand

Culture

Coffee and tea shops, per capita

Number of farmer markets, by city

Notes: Data is by most recent year available and for the metro area unless otherwise specified. Northern Virginia’s data includes Washington DC, except for Fortune 500 companies and farmer markets data, which are for Northern Virginia only. Coffee and tea shops per capita is by the square root of the population.

Sources: CBRE (tech degrees, tech labor force); Center for Neighborhood Technology (jobs available); Fortune (Fortune 500 company headquarters); Green Street Advisors, Real Estate Analytics (college educated population); Tax Foundation (business tax climate); U.S. Census (commute times, transit ridership, housing cost), USDA (farmers markets); WalletHub (coffee and tea shops)

Amazon kicked off its beauty contest in September 2017 to showcase the company’s economic benefits. In the end, the contest revealed more about its immense power.

“Would it have been better to get 50,000 jobs? Of course,” said Alicia Glen, New York City’s deputy mayor for housing and economic development.

Stephen Moret, chief executive of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, said 25,000 high-paying jobs still stacked up as one of the largest economic-development projects in U.S. history.

 

https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-amazon-picked-hq2-and-jilted-238-cities-1542153869?mod=hp_lead_pos7

 


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Of course they are taking heat for this complete BS move. They could have decided this literally months ago and without having the cities/states waste time and money on this debacle. I was reading about this on a NC forum in reddit and someone had a great comment:  "What is also so irritating about the whole thing is during the process they had said what they’re looking for. A place with lower cost of living, large college base, tech community, low commuting time etc. And then they go and pick two of the most congested and expensive places in the country." .

 

Which the comment was pretty much sums up exactly the ####### shoot that this was. 

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Seems NY does not want them.


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10 minutes ago, Boiler said:

Seems NY does not want them.

Not according to DeBlasio and Cuomo.  Here is what amazes me, they say they had to split because not one area had a big enough talent pool.  Doesn't Amazon include the entire globe in its talent pool?

 

If you build it, they will come.


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38 minutes ago, Cyberfx1024 said:

Of course they are taking heat for this complete BS move. They could have decided this literally months ago and without having the cities/states waste time and money on this debacle. I was reading about this on a NC forum in reddit and someone had a great comment:  "What is also so irritating about the whole thing is during the process they had said what they’re looking for. A place with lower cost of living, large college base, tech community, low commuting time etc. And then they go and pick two of the most congested and expensive places in the country." .

 

Which the comment was pretty much sums up exactly the ####### shoot that this was. 

 

  It is Amazon after all. My expectations were not very high to begin with.


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52 minutes ago, Cyberfx1024 said:

Of course they are taking heat for this complete BS move. They could have decided this literally months ago and without having the cities/states waste time and money on this debacle. I was reading about this on a NC forum in reddit and someone had a great comment:  "What is also so irritating about the whole thing is during the process they had said what they’re looking for. A place with lower cost of living, large college base, tech community, low commuting time etc. And then they go and pick two of the most congested and expensive places in the country." .

 

Which the comment was pretty much sums up exactly the ####### shoot that this was. 

Definitely these two would not be on my short list according to those criteria.


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24 minutes ago, Cyberfx1024 said:

amazon.com

Wonder what this news will do the cost of living in these two areas?  Certainly, it is already fairly high in NYC and the DC Metro area, but I imagine home prices may increase further now.


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5 minutes ago, Bill & Katya said:

Wonder what this news will do the cost of living in these two areas?  Certainly, it is already fairly high in NYC and the DC Metro area, but I imagine home prices may increase further now.

That's why a large majority of people here in NC are so happy that they did not come here. The infrastructure is struggling as it is due to the influx of people coming in to the Triangle, and Amazon would have just exasperated the situation. 

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MD about twisted itself in ridiculous knots trying to get Amazon to come here... and then there was separate wrangling from the city itself (which was another pipedream). There are some that think the Crystal City location is close enough to boost our economy, but that would already be in a surrounding mega wealthy area to begin with. There's no interest in boosting small towns or even struggling ones.


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Same in Denver.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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1 hour ago, yuna628 said:

MD about twisted itself in ridiculous knots trying to get Amazon to come here... and then there was separate wrangling from the city itself (which was another pipedream). There are some that think the Crystal City location is close enough to boost our economy, but that would already be in a surrounding mega wealthy area to begin with. There's no interest in boosting small towns or even struggling ones.

Detroit also had pipedreams about landing this.  There were so many local stories about what the area needed to do to land this.  Quite honestly, I am fine with the businesses and their HQs we have in the area.


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