Sometime in the near future, Amazon will announce the location for their newest nucleus, better known as Headquarters 2 (HQ2). This’ll be a huge announcement because the new facility has promised to bring $5 billion in development funding, as well as around 50,000 new high paying jobs once the headquarters is up and running.
Also, this project is being backed by Amazon – the company that accounts for +40% of all online sales. So whichever city wins the bid, will also win the backing of Amazon’s CEO aka the world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos. Bezos’ current net worth is said to be around $140 billion, roughly $50 billion higher than former money king Bill Gates. With that kind of money, what city wouldn’t want you as a resident?
Representatives from each of these cities will meet with Amazon to discuss their proposals and specifics. Having so much on the line, it’s expected that all 20 cities will push hard to win the bid. According to The Wall Street Journal, some finalist cities have already offered billions in tax breaks if chosen for HQ2.
Besides tax incentives, Amazon has provided high-level parameters for HQ2’s location. In the last few months, it’s been rumored that DC and NYC are the frontrunners, but until Bezos makes an announcement, nothing is final.
Amazon to Austin
I think that Texas is the best location for Amazon HQ2. And there’s a good chance Austin, Texas will win – with Dallas as a close second. I agree with Texas Governor Abbott, Texas is the perfect fit for Amazon and here are a few of the main reasons why…
Best Place to Attract Young Talent (this is what I think gives Austin the edge over Dallas)
One of the main factors Amazon is weighing, is “which city will attract the best young talent?”. Amazon is looking for the ideal place to house a facility that will be filled with 24-year-old MIT grads and other new Amazon hires. It’s true, millennials are tough to please.. But thankfully, Austin offers everything a resident could dream of. Especially if you’re a young adult working in the tech industry — here’s a CNBC article ranking Austin the #1 place to live in the US for the 2nd year in a row.
Texas also has a unique collection of universities around the state that would give Amazon a large pool of young and local talent to pull from.
Room to Grow
Although Austin has seen tremendous growth over the last several decades, there’s still a ton of room to grow when you compare Austin to the other frontrunners like NYC and DC. The cost of living will be significantly cheaper for Amazon’s employees if they come to Texas. There’s also more land available near Austin city-center and lower overall development costs in Texas, compared to competing states.
Also as Governor Abbott mentions in the above video, Texas has some inherent advantages, including a premiere workforce and low tax regime. Not to mention, Amazon’s recent 13 billion dollar acquisition of Whole Foods, an Austin headquartered company.
Bezos is a Texan at Heart
Many believe Bezos wants to spend more time in Washington DC – further concluding that’ll be the destination of HQ2.. I disagree.
While Amazon is certainly having issues with DC, and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos would likely benefit from having more influence around the White House. I don’t necessarily think that means Bezos himself wants to spend more time there…
In the above interview (filmed May 2018), Bezos says two important things I’d like to point out.
The first is his mentioning of Texas (..around 5:40 in) and how he looked up to his Grandfather and Grandmother who owned a ranch in Texas. He mentions spending his summers from age 4 to 16 in Texas, and that this time was meaningful to him. Leading me to believe that Bezos would be comfortable spending more time in Texas.
Bezos already owns a 30,000-acre ranch in Van Horn, Texas. The large Texas property plays headquarters to Bezos’ space company/side project, Blue Origin. If you tune in around 37:30, Bezos clearly says that “Blue Origin is the most important” work that he’s doing. Bezos’ desire to continue his work with Blue Origin may also give Texas an edge when Bezos makes his decision.
Bonus: Amazon to Austin – Rebuttal Response Video
Follow the Author Dylan Dement – Twitter/Instagram @dubdeezzyy