Amazon has announced that it is looking for a site for its second headquarters. The development of the headquarters which will be known as ‘HQ2’ will cost around $5 billion and will generate approximately 50,000 jobs.
According to the co-founder and chief executive officer of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, HQ2 will be equal to the current headquarters which are located in Seattle, Washington. Amazon’s Seattle headquarters sit on an area of space measuring slightly over eight million square feet on 33 buildings and 40,000 people are employed there.
City of Atlanta
One of the cities that is reportedly being considered as a possible location for Amazon’s HQ2 is Atlanta. If it were to be picked the landscape of Atlanta would be transformed with real estate development in the city being turbo-boosted. At its current headquarters Amazon’s presence has transformed downtown Seattle and led to the redevelopment of Denny Triangle and South Lake Union.
In the first phase of the development of its new headquarters Amazon will put up a development providing 1 million square feet of space by 2019. Greenfield sites of approximately 100 acres will be considered. Such sites must have existing buildings, infill sites, on-site mass transit infrastructure as well as have an international airport within 45 miles.
“Amazon will prioritize certified or shovel-ready greenfield sites and infill opportunities with appropriate infrastructure and ability to meet the project’s timeline and development demands,” said Amazon in a filing.
Software development talent
The city that Amazon will eventually pick for its HQ2 must also possess string regional and local talent especially in software development. According to John Boyd Jr, a site consultant, the online retail giant is hunting for a market that is ‘development-oriented’.
In the last few years Atlanta has enjoyed success in attracting high-profile companies to locate their corporate headquarters in the city. Two years ago for instance Mercedes Benz USA settled for Atlanta as its choice of location for its headquarters. Last year Atlanta was also shortlisted by General Electric for a corporate headquarter location before the conglomerate settled for Boston, Massachusetts.
Besides Atlanta other cities that qualify as major contenders include Miami, Tampa. According to Boyd the Brightline project in Miami and the new waterfront development in Tampa make them strong contenders. The Brightline which links Miami and Orlando via a high-speed train will work in Miami’s favor since this will not only mean the workforce pool has been expanded but will be bilingual.