Thursday, January 18, 2018

Amazon's second headquarters --- Philadelphia or Nashville?

Today Amazon announced the names of the 20 finalists for its second headquarters.  There were applications from 238 cities looking for the projected 50,000 jobs that would be associated with this site.  In concept that sounds wonderful, but that would be a massive number of new jobs for any area to absorb successfully when factoring in not just the talent needed but also the infrastructure.

Austin and the North Carolina research triangle area(Raleigh) are of course on the list.  They are already tech centers, but one could wonder if they are somewhat saturated.  Boston would be a likely choice given its educational resources but that is a densely populated area that may not be compatible with the type of campus Amazon must envision.  Areas such as Columbus, Ohio and Indianapolis, Indiana could be questionable as places that would be attractive to live, but putting the infrastructure in place could work.  From that perspective, Washington, D.C. seems to be impossible but Northern Virginia and Montgomery County, Maryland would both cover that base.  Still, why would Bezos want to get even closer to politics.  His Washington Post ownership already does enough of that.

Wild guess here is Philadelphia.  That's meant as the Philadelphia suburbs, perhaps with an executive building in the city center.  The academic resources are there in that once great city and some of the suburbs such as those in the Bryn Maur, West Conshohocken, and Valley Forge(home of the Vanguard complex) area are attractive and have development areas available.  Major highways are in place.  Access to both New York and D.C. is easy.  Add to that, helping redevelop Philadelphia would be a feather in the cap of Bezos.  Great things are there, such one of the most exceptional museums in the country, a legacy of prior wealth.

This is the long shot choice --- Nashville.  There are only 650,000 people in the city but the metro area totals over 1.5 million.  Vanderbilt University is a highly regarded academic institution and the city has professional hockey and football teams.  Don't forget about the Grand Ole Opry.  Some of positive comments may seem to be a stretch, but Amazon could, in its way, own this city, redefine it as a tech mecca in the middle of the South.  The company would avoid some of the travails of older northeastern cities while finding an eager work force in a region tired of just being known for car assembly.

Sorry Denver, Dallas, and Los Angeles, the thought here is that Amazon will choose to have the balance of an area east of the Mississippi.  This is a completely biased comment.  Other suggestions are welcome.  No prizes are available.



Post a Comment

<< Home