Amazon's New HQ?

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BigIdeasGuy
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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby BigIdeasGuy » September 7th, 2017, 4:55 pm

Nathan wrote:
September 7th, 2017, 4:04 pm
BigIdeasGuy wrote:
September 7th, 2017, 3:59 pm
I feel like the Midway super block isn't going to be big enough for 8 million sq ft of office space and the Allianz Field. Plus there is going to be a bunch of other development come along with a corporate campus of this size, hotels are the easy example. There is no way that is all going to fit on the super block unless Amazon is willing to build multiple 700'+ towers. The original master plan had about 1 million sq ft of office space and that include like 4 200'+ towers. I think to make Midway work you are going to the super block directly to the east.

And if Amazon picks Midway is there any chance a building a Green Line express going down the middle of 94 between the DT's with stops at Snelling and the U?
I mean... there are literally 4 consecutive super blocks of underutilized land along University between Snelling and Lexington. If amazon showed interest in this site... don't you think MN united and crew might be willing to get rid of the residential and hotel portions (which are not actually committed at this point) and let the free market hack away at the rest of the big box store and strip mall extravaganza going on in this area?
I was specifically referring to the western most block and not the other three simply because that is where all the focus has been so far and that block is under Dr. McGuire's control. I would be shocked if MNUFC wouldn't get rid of the residential and hotel portions of the master plans but that doesn't mean the demand for housing, hotels, etc. would just disappear, it would still exist and be built in the area just on a different parcel. I also think site assembly could be difficult for the other blocks for the simple reason that both Walmart and Target both own land and I doubt either one is willing do to Amazon any favors right now

And to be clear I wouldn't shed a single tear if all 4 super blocks between Snelling and Lex get redeveloped.

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Nathan
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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby Nathan » September 7th, 2017, 5:19 pm

Also just playing around with scale maps... you could fit 13 of the new 17 story Wells Fargo office buildings in DTE onto the MN United super block without interrupting the planned street layout and park area. So that's over 5m square feet if you don't break 17 stories.

which also helps bring into perspective... HOLY F*** That's SO MUCH. It would be crazy to try to fit this much office space anywhere in the Twin Cities and would be a crazy hinderance on any road/transit/neighborhood.

I'm now starting to hope they'd (hypothetically) create a campus in each downtown and maybe also midway...

Chef
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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby Chef » September 7th, 2017, 5:29 pm

The more I think about it, the more I think that Downtown St Paul makes the most sense, locally. According to the RFP they are looking for 500,000 sq ft of existing space to start with the ability to add up to 8 million sq ft. They want transit, bike lanes and walkable connections. The only places in the Twin Cities that have that but also have the highway system to accommodate the cars of 50,000 workers are the two downtown. Downtown St Paul has a lot of underutilized space right now. The Ecolab tower alone is 280,000 sq ft which gets us more than halfway there in one building. There is also plenty of room to develop.

Midway has nowhere near 500,000 sq ft of existing empty space and the Ford site has none.

BoredAgain
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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby BoredAgain » September 7th, 2017, 5:32 pm

I didn't find current numbers, but the downtown Minneapolis job count is around 160,000 - 170,000. Adding 50,000 jobs to Downtown, or any other single location would require SUBSTANTIAL work. Any location proposed would get fight-back from surrounding neighborhoods because of the huge bump in traffic and development pressure on surrounding neighborhoods.. That goes for Midway, BCV, Ford Site, or anywhere else.

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Silophant
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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby Silophant » September 7th, 2017, 5:35 pm

True enough, but that's going to be the case in any and every city.

Well, maybe not unzoned Houston, but idk if they're in a position to do an RFP at this time.

Chef
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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby Chef » September 7th, 2017, 8:25 pm

In some ways it may be better to not get this. In a municipality the size of Minneapolis or St Paul, 50,000 white collar jobs would turn either city into a company town. Once you had those jobs it would be devastating to lose them. Amazon would then have either city over a barrel and be able to get what it wanted out of them. There is also the issue that Amazon is so successful that it would eventually invite an antitrust breakup of the company. That could be a very bad thing for the local economies of Seattle and whichever city gets HQ#2. We may be better off maintaining the current economic paradigm of no one major company dominating the region. Our economy certainly isn't broken now the way it is.

Also, 50,000 more yuppies will change the culture of the Twin Cities, making it blander and more corporate. They will also drive up the price of housing, which will especially impact those of us who aren't the gentry. The boom in white collar tech jobs has been great for white collar tech workers in Seattle and San Francisco but it has made those cities worse to live in for everyone else. We need to think about whether we want to go down the same road.

Didier
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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby Didier » September 7th, 2017, 9:51 pm

It's definitely worth considering that Amazon having a secondary headquarters with 50,000 people working there likely means a lot of other businesses no longer exist.

SurlyLHT
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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby SurlyLHT » September 8th, 2017, 8:27 am

It's been mentioned that one reason Amazon wants a HQ2 is because of the wage reforms and etc. that Seattle has enacted. Given that Minneapolis has been following suit we may be less likely to receive HQ2. (Personally, I think Amazon is a bit of a bubble. Their latest earning numbers weren't great. )

QuietBlue
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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby QuietBlue » September 8th, 2017, 8:34 am

Chef wrote:
September 7th, 2017, 8:25 pm
In some ways it may be better to not get this. In a municipality the size of Minneapolis or St Paul, 50,000 white collar jobs would turn either city into a company town. Once you had those jobs it would be devastating to lose them. Amazon would then have either city over a barrel and be able to get what it wanted out of them. There is also the issue that Amazon is so successful that it would eventually invite an antitrust breakup of the company. That could be a very bad thing for the local economies of Seattle and whichever city gets HQ#2. We may be better off maintaining the current economic paradigm of no one major company dominating the region. Our economy certainly isn't broken now the way it is.

Also, 50,000 more yuppies will change the culture of the Twin Cities, making it blander and more corporate. They will also drive up the price of housing, which will especially impact those of us who aren't the gentry. The boom in white collar tech jobs has been great for white collar tech workers in Seattle and San Francisco but it has made those cities worse to live in for everyone else. We need to think about whether we want to go down the same road.
Great analysis. There's a big difference between adding 50K jobs organically across a variety of companies and industries compared to having all the eggs in one basket, so to speak. A diversified economy is what got us through the recession with an easier time than other cities, and keeps us more stable than those with boom-bust business cycles. And your point about influence and control is good as well -- just look at how Mayo pretty much owns Rochester. I feel like some people on this board are way too comfortable with concentrated corporate power if it means they get to have some new apartment buildings and trains. Those would be nice to have, but at what cost? And yeah, the possibility of an antitrust action and how it would impact any city with this HQ needs to be considered as well.

I also don't see how it's going to make the issues we have here with economic disparities, housing costs, etc. any better than they are now. I'll also add that, compared to SF and Seattle, it's a lot easier to just keep building outward and adding sprawl than it is in those cities -- no ocean or mountains to keep things contained. So yeah, there might be more development in the core cities, but that's just going to keep pushing residents and businesses out who can't afford it.

David Greene
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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby David Greene » September 8th, 2017, 8:59 am

Well I mean with that logic we shouldn't want any people here at all!

There would certainly be challenges but also a ton of opportunity. Developers now building six-story stick are going to see benefits to going taller, for example. There's still a lot of construction opportunity downtown, not to mention in the surrounding neighborhoods. If there were to go in BCV, there's all kinds of open land there for residential towers.

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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby MNdible » September 8th, 2017, 9:17 am

Thinking this through a bit more, I could imagine a scenario where Amazon could take over the entirety of T3 and the other Hines controlled site adjacent to Target Field that's already been identified as a major office building. Those two sites could easily get them up and going with room to grow (T3 is listed at 220,000 sf, and the other site could probably exceed 1m sf with a deep-pocketed tenant identified).

Then, you're able to use the SWLRT to hop to the Farmers Market site and the BCV site. It actually seems like a very attractive option for a phased development.

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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby QuietBlue » September 8th, 2017, 9:26 am

David Greene wrote:
September 8th, 2017, 8:59 am
Well I mean with that logic we shouldn't want any people here at all!
I'll repeat the second sentence in my previous post: "There's a big difference between adding 50K jobs organically across a variety of companies and industries compared to having all the eggs in one basket, so to speak." It's not adding all of these jobs (and people) that would be the problem; it would be the manner in which it would be done.

David Greene
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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby David Greene » September 8th, 2017, 9:37 am

QuietBlue wrote:
September 8th, 2017, 9:26 am
David Greene wrote:
September 8th, 2017, 8:59 am
Well I mean with that logic we shouldn't want any people here at all!
I'll repeat the second sentence in my previous post: "There's a big difference between adding 50K jobs organically across a variety of companies and industries compared to having all the eggs in one basket, so to speak." It's not adding all of these jobs (and people) that would be the problem; it would be the manner in which it would be done.
I was responding to your assertion that adding that many people will inrease inequity and explode housing prices. It doesn't have to. Doesn't matter how that 50k is added.

John21
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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby John21 » September 8th, 2017, 9:43 am

It's potentially 50k jobs and it's a 10-15 year time frame. Bring it on.

Palmetto
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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby Palmetto » September 8th, 2017, 10:02 am

Axios lists MSP among top 5 contending markets for new Amazon HQ. https://www.axios.com/5-potential-conte ... 80712.html

SurlyLHT
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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby SurlyLHT » September 8th, 2017, 10:04 am

I was trying to find specifics on what is available for Basset Creek Valley. I found the link below from the city. I'm trying to imagine how it would actually work. The LRT station and Cedar Lake Trail would provide a nice connection to Downtown. Which would be especially useful if they were to utilize space in North Loop near T3. If we went with Basset Creek...how specifically would it work?

http://www.minneapolismn.gov/www/groups ... 259172.pdf

QuietBlue
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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby QuietBlue » September 8th, 2017, 10:08 am

Richard Florida thinks Bezos will take things to their logical conclusion and just build it in D.C. or right next to it. I can see the reasons for that.

xandrex
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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby xandrex » September 8th, 2017, 11:00 am

QuietBlue wrote:
September 8th, 2017, 9:26 am
I'll repeat the second sentence in my previous post: "There's a big difference between adding 50K jobs organically across a variety of companies and industries compared to having all the eggs in one basket, so to speak." It's not adding all of these jobs (and people) that would be the problem; it would be the manner in which it would be done.
Not that this isn’t a risk, but the Twin Cities are already have a fairly diversified jobs market. We have one of the top medical device hubs. A large agricultural industry. Lots of banking and insurance companies. A quietly booming tech sector. And, yes, also retail with Target and Best Buy. The 50,000 jobs is a lot, and it would make it one of the largest employers in the state (Mayo right now only has 37,000), but that’s a number over time.

We’re no Detroit. This isn’t a one-industry town by any measure.

QuietBlue
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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby QuietBlue » September 8th, 2017, 11:11 am

xandrex wrote:
September 8th, 2017, 11:00 am
Not that this isn’t a risk, but the Twin Cities are already have a fairly diversified jobs market.
Yes, that was the third sentence in my aforementioned post. :D

xandrex
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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby xandrex » September 8th, 2017, 12:09 pm

QuietBlue wrote:
September 8th, 2017, 11:11 am
Yes, that was the third sentence in my aforementioned post. :D
Yes, I saw your previous post. :)

I suppose I was just reiterating that, yes, we are a diversified metro. But that probably means that even adding an insane number of jobs for one company, while not as ideal as adding, say, 50,000 jobs across 5-10 companies, is still probably a net positive. Even if Amazon fails (this seems unlikely in the foreseeable future – even an antitrust breakup wouldn’t magically make those jobs go away), we’ve got a sturdy enough backbone to the economy to weather the storm, albeit with some definite pain.


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