Amazon puts metro Atlanta on short list for HQ2

By David Pendered

Amazon has placed metro Atlanta on the short list of 20 cities it is considering as the site for its second headquarters, the company announced Thursday morning.

The full list of metro areas Amazon has cited include:

  • amazon hq2, map

    Amazon included metro Atlanta on the short list it released Thursday of 20 metro areas it is considering for its second headquarters. Credit: amazon.com

    Atlanta

  • Austin, Texas
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Dallas
  • Denver
  • Indianapolis
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • Amazon, potential sites

    Five sites in metro Atlanta have been talked up as potential locations for Amazon’s second headquarters, should the company choose to build it in the region. Amazon included metro Atlanta in a short list of 20 cities it released Thursday. Credit: mapquest.com, David Pendered

    Montgomery County, Md.

  • Nashville
  • Newark, N.J.
  • New York City
  • Northern Virginia
  • Philadelphia
  • Pittsburgh
  • Raleigh, N.C.
  • Toronto
  • Washington D.C.

Amazon posted this morning a map of North America that identified the 20 regions where it may build the facility. The only metro area not located in the United States is Toronto. The map posted on the site Wednesday evening appeared to include additional regions to the south of the United States.

Amazon did not indicate which of the potential site, or sites, in metro Atlanta it is considering. The state submitted a package but did not release details.

stonecrest amazon logo 1

Amazon employees will receive welcome messages from Stonecrest when the employees check their mobile devices on any Amazon property in Seattle. File/Credit: Smart Reach Digital

The City of Stonecrest, in eastern DeKalb County, has waged a guerilla strategy to make its highly visible bid for HQ2. The bid included a unique marketing campaign. There’s no indication whether Stonecrest is a potential site.

This is Amazon’s description of its planned second headquarters:

  • “Amazon HQ2 will be Amazon’s second headquarters in North America. We expect to invest over $5 billion in construction and grow this second headquarters to include as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs – it will be a full equal to our current campus in Seattle. In addition to Amazon’s direct hiring and investment, construction and ongoing operation of Amazon HQ2 is expected to create tens of thousands of additional jobs and tens of billions of dollars in additional investment in the surrounding community.”

Here is the full text regarded HQ2 as posted on Amazon’s site:

“What is Amazon HQ2?

“HQ2 will be the second Amazon headquarters in North America. We are looking for a location with strong local and regional talent—particularly in software development and related fields—as well as a stable and business-friendly environment to continue hiring and innovating on behalf of our customers.10px-spacer

“How have you selected the 20 candidate locations?

“We evaluated each of the proposals based on the criteria outlined in the RFP to create the list of 20 HQ2 candidates that will continue in the process.

“What are the next steps of this selection process?

“In the coming months, Amazon will work with each of the candidate locations to dive deeper into their proposals, request additional information as necessary, and evaluate the feasibility of a future partnership that can accommodate our hiring plans as well as benefit our employees and the local community. We expect to make a decision in 2018.

“What will be the benefits for the city finally selected to host your second headquarters?

“We expect to invest over $5 billion and grow our second headquarters location to be a full equal to Amazon’s current campus in Seattle, creating as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs. In addition to Amazon’s direct hiring and investment, construction and operation of HQ2 is expected to create tens of thousands of additional jobs and tens of billions of dollars in additional investment in the surrounding community.

amazon spheres

Amazon is building futuristic office space at three structures it calls ‘spheres’ at its Seattle campus. The buildings are intended to provide places of refuge where workers can collaborate and think more creatively than they may at their workplace. File/Credit: NBBA via businessinsider.com

“Amazon estimates its investments in Seattle from 2010 through 2016 resulted in an additional $38 billion to the city’s economy – every dollar invested by Amazon in Seattle generated an additional $1.40 for the city’s economy overall.

“Why is Amazon choosing its second headquarters location via a public process?

“We want to find a city that is excited to work with us and where our customers, employees, and the community can all benefit.

“Stay in Touch

“Follow Amazon at the Amazon Blog, and on Twitter and YouTube to get our latest news and announcements.”

The text below the map appears to be the same that was posted Wednesday evening beneath another image. It reads:

  • “Amazon HQ2 will be Amazon’s second headquarters in North America. We expect to invest over $5 billion in construction and grow this second headquarters to include as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs – it will be a full equal to our current campus in Seattle. In addition to Amazon’s direct hiring and investment, construction and ongoing operation of Amazon HQ2 is expected to create tens of thousands of additional jobs and tens of billions of dollars in additional investment in the surrounding community.”

HQ2 portends to be game changer in the social networks of the community in which it is built. Not only is the prospect of some 50,000 high paying jobs and the economic stimulus those salaries will create, Amazon touts its belief in giving back to its communities. Amazon’s website observes:

  • In the Community
  • “It’s important to us to invest in the communities where we operate in ways that benefit our neighbors and our employees. In Seattle, Amazon has donated to hundreds of charitable organizations across the city that support people of all backgrounds and income levels. And we do it in innovative ways – we are building a permanent home within our Seattle headquarters for Mary’s Place, a local nonprofit offering shelter to homeless families. This charity will receive more than 47,000 sq. ft. of space in one of our newest buildings, providing housing for 200 families.”

Gov. Nathan Deal’s office had not issued a statement as of 9:55 a.m. The governor has said previously that he and the state Legislature will convene as needed to provide the legislative support necessary to woo Amazon’s HQ2.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ office had not issued a statement as of 10:45 a.m.

Editor’s note: Check back for updates

David Pendered, Managing Editor, is an Atlanta journalist with more than 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written for print and digital publications, and advised on media and governmental affairs. Previously, he spent more than 26 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and won awards for his coverage of schools and urban development. David graduated from North Carolina State University and was a Western Knight Center Fellow. David was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in North Carolina and is married to a fifth-generation Atlantan.

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  1. […] some strong reactions after learning Thursday morning that Amazon had included the region in its short list of 20 regions where the company’s second headquarters would be […]Report

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