Gwinnett County could make a serious bid for Amazon’s HQ2.
Earlier on Monday the county’s Urban Redevelopment Agency announced it plans to buy the OFS campus at I-85 and Jimmy Carter Boulevard (the giant brown campus on the left if you’re heading north on I-85. The previous owner was Bausch & Lomb) for a paltry $34 million.
Obviously I’m inferring intentions that might not be there from Gwinnett. But, consider that Amazon is looking for the following:
- Existing buildings of at least 500,000 square feet that are expandable or have additional options for development nearby. (I can’t tell from the blueprint but if it isn’t 500k it’s close and there seems to be other nearby parcel available)
- Greenfield site of approximately 100 acres (the campus is 104 acres, so check, technically)
- Proximity to not more than 1-2 major highways and arterial roads (check, duh)
- Proximity to population center within 30 miles (check)
- Proximity to international airport within approximately 45 minutes (at 4:38 PM on Monday, Google Maps says it will be 43 minutes so just barely check)
- Access to mass transit at site (no, however…)
The last point might be a dealbreaker for Amazon being a “core preference” but as the AJC article notes, the county plans a mulit-modal transportation hub so maybe they could get away with it. And the distance from the airport is just under the limit so that’s another big strike.
If there’s a solid non-Atlanta chance for HQ2 and it’s not here, what would it be?