November 5, 2018 10:33 PM
The New York Times reports that Amazon is finalizing their HQ 2 plans with the intent to split their second headquarters’ 50,000 employees between two East Coast cities – neither of which is Atlanta:
The company is nearing a deal to move to the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, according to two of the people briefed on the discussions. Amazon is also close to a deal to move to the Crystal City area of Arlington, Va., a Washington suburb, one of the people said. Amazon already has more employees in those two areas than anywhere else outside of Seattle, its home base, and the Bay Area.
If it’s done right – thoughtfully, comprehensively, and if it draws from successes and missteps in Seattle – HQ2 is a an economic golden ticket with a halo effect that will profoundly impact education, infrastructure, and employment opportunities for whichever region it chooses.
if when it is confirmed that Atlanta is, indeed, not the future home of 25,000 high-salary employees, there will no doubt be postmortem conversations at the local, regional, and state level about why we didn’t make the final cut. Atlanta has a better airport than any in Seattle, New York, or D.C., and our housing prices are significantly more affordable (and that’s saying a lot, because housing affordability is absolutely a major challenge across the Atlanta region) than any of those cities. Off the top of my head, though, I can think of one major differentiator.