It is no secret, Amazon’s HQ2 will be built somewhere in North America. Ultimately, the Seattle area will not be host to that new headquarters.
In our opinion, we are better off that way.
Labor market drought
Amazon has received over 230 proposals across the country because of its proven result of major job growth to that area. Thus resulting in an economic boom for that small area. However, small businesses will feel the available labor force drought almost immediately. Many industrial areas cannot sustain the personnel demands of Amazon as well as their own local businesses.
Amazon can support substantial wages, offers benefit packages, and stable employment, but generally, there are only a finite amount of people to fill the demands Amazon has.
Furthermore, the response “People will just move to the area,” has an entirely different problem.
The cost to live near Amazon
Take it from those near Seattle, when an area has a massive economic growth period real estate prices will keep pace.
The average cost of a home in Seattle is $730,000 as of writing this. Up 13.2 percent since last year. Well over double the national average of 6.1 percent.
This can create a rather odd situation where Amazon’s own employees cannot afford to live in the city which they work.
As of Mid October, there were three condos available in Seattle under the $500,000 mark, in the entire city.
Our thoughts on the future
Amazon owns 16% of the office real estate space in Seattle. Their distribution centers are massive employment centers across the greater Seattle region. Amazon is a piece of a much larger economic picture in the Pacific Northwest.
Seattle and Amazon’s relationship seems well balanced. Consequently, Amazon hit the market at the correct time and have not saturated it. Amazon’s next step is to seek an area for HQ2 that has the population, real estate availability, and infrastructure to support their continued growth.
Where should Amazon’s HQ2 be located?
A few options that crossed our mind:
Detroit was formerly known as one of the manufacturing capitals of the United States.
Additionally, Detroit used to be known as Motor City. Amazon could revitalize that American working spirit under the banner of a 21st-century tech giant.
Amazon would be hard-pressed to find a large urban area with real estate space Amazon could acquire and a city that would openly embrace a new titan of industry like Detroit would.
This city has proven they know how to work. As a result, Amazon’s HQ2 would find staff in an eager to work populace
Amazon is one of the largest employers of recent college graduates in the United States. While Pittsburgh has multiple world-renown colleges nearby.
Pittsburgh has the populace to support Amazon’s HQ2, the city makeup to allow them to grow, and the local institutions to feed into Amazon’s personnel at all levels.
While Pittsburgh may not need the revitalization like other cities, it cannot be denied they are a good fit for HQ2.
Atlanta is the turn-key fit for Amazon. Atlanta’s a major supply chain hub, tech company friendly, and hosts an international airport.
An international airport would be of particular importance for Amazon employees going between HQ1 in Seattle and HQ2 in Atlanta as well as abroad.
Nice weather and affordable housing combined with a large populace make an attractive proposal for Amazon.