Amazon has initiated a Hunger Games of sorts among major tech cities in North America that want to be the site for the company’s second headquarters, dubbed Amazon HQ2.
The company announced the competitive search for the best city on Thursday via Twitter. It is looking for several must-haves for the project, which will cost $5 billion and create as many as 50,000 jobs over the next two decades.
Amazon would like the metropolitan area to:
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- attract an abundant pool of tech professionals,
- have at least 1 million people where job growth is strong,
- have an available 100 acres of real estate with established infrastructure,
- have a university system nearby,
- have an airport no more than 45 minutes away from the proposed site,
- be close to a major highway,
- have access to massive transit at the site,
- provide incentive programs to the company,
- and have a high quality of life.
Amazon suggested the project could look like its Seattle headquarters, but it doesn’t have to.
Many have started to speculate about what would be the best city for Amazon’s mega campus.
Both Raleigh and Charlotte could be competitive picks with their population count and skilled tech professionals, according to a data analysis by The Upshot.
Others also put Raleigh high in those competitive picks.
Raleigh’s game is stronger than Charlotte’s, according to the analysis. The Upshot ranked Raleigh a better pick over Charlotte in quality of life.
It eliminated Charlotte and Indianapolis as picks because they ranked lower on an index that measures how much people are willing to sacrifice based on housing costs and commutes.
“On that basis, we cut Charlotte, N.C., and Indianapolis, because they rank lower on the cultural edginess that attracts young, educated workers,” the writers said.
Raleigh, however, didn’t stand up to the mass transit systems of Portland, Ore.; Denver; Washington, D.C.; and Boston.
The analysis predicted Denver would win the bid for its lifestyle, affordability, tech talent from nearby universities and for its ability to handle a big real estate request.
Charlotte and Durham have already volunteered as tributes.
Cities and organizations bidding on behalf of municipalities have until Oct. 19 to submit a proposal.
Let the Games begin.