Amazon's New HQ?

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amiller92
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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby amiller92 » September 12th, 2017, 9:52 am

You guys can't seriously believe that we should be trying to get in on the "who can offer the biggest handout to Amazon" game, do you?

If they want to come here, great. There are lots of reasons we could be good for them. But I have zero interest in bribing them to come.

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Tiller
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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby Tiller » September 12th, 2017, 9:58 am

Bribe them with L I G H T R A I L

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VacantLuxuries
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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby VacantLuxuries » September 12th, 2017, 10:07 am

I don't mind bribing so long as we set a limit. Amazon is much more valuable than Foxconn, but I still would want us to stop well short of simply building the whole thing for them.

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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby MNdible » September 12th, 2017, 10:32 am

Some quick back of the envelope math:

If we take them at their word that they really will be employing 50,000 employees at $100,000 average salary, and if we figure an effective state income tax rate of 4%, that is $200m per year of new income tax in the state's coffers. That does not include the additional sales tax that these employees would pay, or the additional property tax that the campus would generate. And it certainly does not include the spin-off economic benefits of such a campus and all of the well-paid employees, which would be vast. So, I don't know what the right amount of subsidy would be to lure a project like this, but there's a staggering amount of money at play.
mplsjaromir wrote: Does the office of Minneapolis mayor have the policy making chops to make a proposal in 72 hours? I would rather have a mayor propose regionally altering decisions with some sort of plan. Maybe Amazon is or isn't a good fit for Minneapolis. To blame the mayor for being cautious is silly.
What is there to be cautious about? Nobody is asking for a detailed plan right now. All I'd expect is an enthusiastic "Yes, we want them, and we're going to compete hard to get them, and here is a list of a few great potential sites in Minneapolis for them to build."

acs
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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby acs » September 12th, 2017, 10:46 am

What do we have to gain? How about what do we have to lose? Amazon is the company that will in all likelihood put Target and Best Buy out of business. No matter where HQ2 ends up we're staring down the barrel of losing tens of thousands of corporate headquarters jobs sometime in the near future. I understand the Mayor's position, really it's not that unreasonable. Don't piss off the companies you do have chasing the one you don't. But you know what they say, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em, and let's be honest here what are the chances Target and BB survive Amazon?
mplsjaromir wrote: Does the office of Minneapolis mayor have the policy making chops to make a proposal in 72 hours? I would rather have a mayor propose regionally altering decisions with some sort of plan. Maybe Amazon is or isn't a good fit for Minneapolis. To blame the mayor for being cautious is silly.

Being mayoral goes beyond heedlessly offering subsidies to every big rich business man who asks.
Paul Thissen jumped in right away offering support and suggesting sites, and he's the DFL house minority leader and one of the more liberal candidates for governor. I'm sure you'll hold that against him next November.

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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby Silophant » September 12th, 2017, 10:52 am

I'll probably hold offering dumb sites against him.

mplsjaromir
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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby mplsjaromir » September 12th, 2017, 11:01 am

Paul Thissen piping up about sites that aren't even part of his constituency just shows someone eager for ink.

If Hodges refused to cooperate with a regional plan, that would show a lack of leadership. The RFP is due next month. I doubt that Mayor Hodges perceived lack of enthusiasm, real or imagined, registered with anyone making the final decision.

xandrex
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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby xandrex » September 12th, 2017, 11:15 am

Even if Amazon is going to put Best Buy and Target out of business (and there’s no guarantee that they will if the two companies innovate a bit), that isn’t going to be determined by where HQ2 goes. If anything, that could be a rising-tides situation, where more talent in retail clusters here bringing brighter people to all of the above companies.

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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby David Greene » September 12th, 2017, 11:51 am

I think that was acs' point. If HQ2 comes here, it can be a bulwark against the failure of BestBuy and Target, or in a better situation, create synergies in the workforce. If HQ2 doesn't come here, at best we have the status quo and at worst we lose all of the Target and BestBuy jobs with no gain to show for it.

I just don't see any reason *not* to aggressively pursue HQ2, including generous subsidies if needed. Hodges is being weak and I will remember that.

The whole *job* of the Minneapolis mayor is to get out and promote the city. We have a weak mayor system. This is exactly the kind of thing a Minneapolis mayor needs to do and she's failing badly at it. She should be out there trumpeting the several real possible sites Minneapolis has ready, today.

xandrex
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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

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

Ah, I actually misread acs’s comment.

In terms of jobs, this is a slam dunk. The agglomeration of retail management, tech, and related work could actually jumpstart some big stuff here.

It’s what the subsidies look like that’s a bigger question.

amiller92
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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby amiller92 » September 12th, 2017, 12:47 pm

So, like build a billion dollar HQ or something?

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VacantLuxuries
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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby VacantLuxuries » September 12th, 2017, 1:34 pm

amiller92 wrote:So, like build a billion dollar HQ or something?
A billion dollars to instantly be a peer city to Seattle? Better investment than a sportball stadium.

amiller92
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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby amiller92 » September 12th, 2017, 2:17 pm

I don't know what "instantly be a peer city to Seattle" means (I mean, we sorta are and aren't in that we've got our own industries), but yes, a better investment than a sportsball stadium, but that's faint praise.

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VacantLuxuries
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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby VacantLuxuries » September 12th, 2017, 2:32 pm

We are and we aren't. Wonks know Minneapolis is on the same level as Seattle as far as our economies and city goals are concerned. The difference is Seattle draws people in because it's Seattle. We've never had that kind of pull here. But we could with an Amazon headquarters.

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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby xandrex » September 12th, 2017, 2:58 pm

Minnesota’s bid will be “restrained,” Dayton says.

http://www.startribune.com/gov-mark-day ... 444027563/

Probably good news for people against the proposal (and other cities that want it).

BigIdeasGuy
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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby BigIdeasGuy » September 12th, 2017, 5:28 pm

I totally understand why Best Buy and Target aren't thrilled about their tax dollars going to subsidize Amazon and the messy politics involved but couldn't you make the argument that bringing Amazon here would help BB and TGT especially in terms of hiring the best talent. I know Amazon corporate culture is notoriously cut throat, intense, and all consuming so having a solid number of current and ex-Amazon employees looking for a new opportunity is only going to help BB and TGT recruitment.

It's also worth nothing the Governor only said the state would be "restrained" in offering subsidies, he didn't mention anything local subsidies like city and county. Arguably localities offer bigger potential tax breaks in terms of property tax, building permits, etc.

I also have to laugh at Charlie Weaver worrying about how much Amazon is getting over current local businesses. If he was T-Paw Chief of Staff when an opportunity like this came up you know he and T-Paw would give away everything, perhaps justifiably.

Has anyone seen any quotes from mayoral candidates in either STP or MPLS?

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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby Silophant » September 12th, 2017, 6:57 pm

VacantLuxuries wrote:
September 12th, 2017, 2:32 pm
We are and we aren't. Wonks know Minneapolis is on the same level as Seattle as far as our economies and city goals are concerned. The difference is Seattle draws people in because it's Seattle. We've never had that kind of pull here. But we could with an Amazon headquarters.
Would we? I feel like the people that go to Seattle because it's Seattle do so because of the mountains and the sea, not because Amazon is there.

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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby Silophant » September 12th, 2017, 10:29 pm

xandrex wrote:
September 12th, 2017, 2:58 pm
Minnesota’s bid will be “restrained,” Dayton says.

http://www.startribune.com/gov-mark-day ... 444027563/

Probably good news for people against the proposal (and other cities that want it).
My thinking on this is that, basically, there's two possibilities:

1) Amazon knows where they want to locate HQ2 and is just using this confidential RFP process to see what they can squeeze out of the target city/state by making it seem like a competition - they'll immediately go to their maximum offer because they don't know how their offer stacks up compared to everyone else's, and Amazon can go ahead and locate in the prechosen target just by saying their offer was the most compelling, regardless of whether it actually was. In this case, it doesn't really matter what MSP offers - either Amazon comes here, and minimizing the offer was the best thing to do for everyone except Amazon, or they don't, and it didn't matter anyway.

2) Amazon is actually willing to site HQ2 in whatever metro makes the most compelling financial case, and it does more or less come down to who's willing to give them the most taxpayer money - in which case, we don't really want it, because offering enough incentives to beat out Austin or Kansas City or wherever would be devastating to the state's budget, at least in the short term.

All that being said, yeah, it'd be a way better investment than any of the last few publicly funded stadiums.

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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby twincitizen » September 12th, 2017, 10:59 pm

A random thought I had (unrelated to MSP's chances) is if Amazon's presence could speed up the "purpling" of a (red but tilting swing) state like Georgia (ATL) or North Carolina (Charlotte/Raleigh), especially if the development outcome is similar to Seattle (dense urban campus in a transit/bike friendly area, spurring tens of thousands of new housing units in dense urban area, etc.) Those states are slowly turning purple anyways (NC moreso than GA), but Amazon's presence could get them over the hump sooner.

Almost certainly a non-factor in Amazon's location decision, but I'd be surprised if the same thought hadn't at least crossed Bezos' mind.

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Tiller
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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby Tiller » September 12th, 2017, 11:35 pm

BigIdeasGuy wrote:
September 12th, 2017, 5:28 pm
Has anyone seen any quotes from mayoral candidates in either STP or MPLS?
A non-official take from my preferred St Paul candidate is that they've already decided where they're locating and they're mostly looking for publicity and courtship (not that we shouldn't compete, but that whatever we put up probably won't influence the final result much).


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