Tuesday, September 26, 2017
 
NYT Chooses Denver for Amazon’s New HQ, But DC Looks Much More Likely

WASHINGTON, D.C. Sept. 13 (DPI) – The New York Times boldly proclaimed this week that Denver is the best city for Amazon’s second national headquarters, only days after the Seattle-based online retailing juggernaut announced its latest ambitious expansion.

The Times’s slightly whimsical but seriously data-driven analysis winnowed down the many cities that might land Amazon – the company says it is looking to place 50,000 employees in millions of square feet of office space, in a place where job growth is strong, infrastructure solid, quality of life high, etc. And The Times chose – with a mostly straight face – Denver.

This would all be a rather entertaining parlor game were it not for the huge stakes for cities across America. Many of course are struggling economically and would view a new corporate headquarters like Amazon’s in its midst as a godsend.

In terms of corporate re-location – and it’s not clear it’s even a re-location – there has been nothing comparable to Amazon’s in the last few decades: In July Toyota re-located its US corporate offices from Los Angeles to Plano, Texas, outside Dallas, but that move involved 4,000 employees – a puny number by comparison.

Amazon doesn’t seem to be slowing down. According the The Wall Street Journal Amazon now employs more than 360,000 in the US, tripling its workforce in less than four years.

Denver may have great amenities but basing operations there would not solve Amazon’s obvious problem that it needs an East Coast presence. In fact, Dallas and Atlanta fill that bill better, even if they can’t compete with Denver on quality-of-life metrics.

The Big Kahuna candidate is clearly Northern Virginia outside Washington, D.C. It meets all of Amazon’s criteria.  In the 1990s AOL built an enormous campus in Sterling, VA., and much it remains unoccupied. Moreover, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos bought a $23 million home in Washington DC just last year. He of course owns The Washington Post.

The Washington area made the last cut in The NY Times analysis.

Other possible sites are Toronto and Boston, which also would fit well with Amazon’s needs and desires.  The search for a location is likely to take a year or more, according to various estimates.

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