Amazon's New HQ?

Introductions - Urban Issues - Miscellaneous News, Topics, Interests
David Greene
IDS Center
Posts: 4760
Joined: December 4th, 2012, 11:41 am

Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby David Greene » September 7th, 2017, 10:54 am

I would be all right with a generous subsidy to land this. It's a lot more useful than the subsidy we gave the Wilfs. That kind of campus could be a total game-changer for the city. Austin probably has a leg up due to its already-strong tech sector but MSP is no slouch in that area. I would like to see an aggressive push for this. I would also like to see some strong conditions attached to any subsidy, particularly in the equity area. I'm not really sure what that looks like but I'm sure there are lots of people who do.

QuietBlue
Target Field
Posts: 512
Joined: September 14th, 2012, 8:50 am

Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby QuietBlue » September 7th, 2017, 11:13 am

Re: Texas, the absence of a state income tax wouldn't hurt them either. It would definitely be a useful carrot to get people to make the move. Austin would indeed make sense.

As for Atlanta, it seems like a good candidate on the surface. But that's Home Depot's HQ, and they've been very successful at fending off Amazon. They wouldn't let them in without a fight, and they'd have a lot more clout than Target or Best Buy would if the same thing were to happen here. OTOH, access to a lot of talent in a niche in which they're weak might make the city more attractive to Amazon, so who knows.

This might sound strange, but I could see Milwaukee having a shot. It's just big enough, Amazon now has ties to Kohl's (which is based there), and the state government is generous with the subsidies.

I have a feeling it will definitely be a decent size city, since that's what they want, but not NYC, LA, SF, or Chicago.

David Greene
IDS Center
Posts: 4760
Joined: December 4th, 2012, 11:41 am

Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby David Greene » September 7th, 2017, 11:18 am

I really want to see this go in the Bassett Creek Valley. There's plenty of land and we could develop both the city's dumping ground and the impound lot and leverage *two* light rail lines and an aBRT line. Its close proximity to downtown could actually extend "downtown" outward. Plus the neighbors have been practically begging for dense development.

LakeCharles
Foshay Tower
Posts: 833
Joined: January 16th, 2014, 8:34 am
Location: Kingfield

Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby LakeCharles » September 7th, 2017, 11:20 am

QuietBlue wrote:
September 7th, 2017, 11:13 am
I have a feeling it will definitely be a decent size city, since that's what they want, but not NYC, LA, SF, or Chicago.
I could see Chicago. It's a big city, centrally located, that is much cheaper than the coasts, and they are happy to hand out subsidies (Boeing).

David Greene
IDS Center
Posts: 4760
Joined: December 4th, 2012, 11:41 am

Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby David Greene » September 7th, 2017, 11:22 am

QuietBlue wrote:
September 7th, 2017, 11:13 am
I have a feeling it will definitely be a decent size city, since that's what they want, but not NYC, LA, SF, or Chicago.
It's going to be a real fight. I imagine places like St. Louis, Kansas City, Denver and Raleigh-Durham will be submitting proposals. This is a chance for a medium-/medium-large-sized metro area to leapfrog into the realm of the big boys.

Scott16475
City Center
Posts: 43
Joined: June 20th, 2012, 12:49 pm

Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby Scott16475 » September 7th, 2017, 11:27 am

QuietBlue wrote:
September 7th, 2017, 11:13 am
Re: Texas, the absence of a state income tax wouldn't hurt them either. It would definitely be a useful carrot to get people to make the move. Austin would indeed make sense.

As for Atlanta, it seems like a good candidate on the surface. But that's Home Depot's HQ, and they've been very successful at fending off Amazon. They wouldn't let them in without a fight, and they'd have a lot more clout than Target or Best Buy would if the same thing were to happen here. OTOH, access to a lot of talent in a niche in which they're weak might make the city more attractive to Amazon, so who knows.

This might sound strange, but I could see Milwaukee having a shot. It's just big enough, Amazon now has ties to Kohl's (which is based there), and the state government is generous with the subsidies.

I have a feeling it will definitely be a decent size city, since that's what they want, but not NYC, LA, SF, or Chicago.
I doubt WI will even throw their hat in the ring. WI is about to be neck-deep in debt and subsidies just luring FOXCONN to their state and that company is amateurish compared to Amazon.

Didier
Capella Tower
Posts: 2438
Joined: June 3rd, 2012, 10:11 am
Location: MSP

Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby Didier » September 7th, 2017, 11:29 am

I was going to suggest Chicago too. Minneapolis has maintained a strong little corporate ecosystem up here, but the trend seems to be for business to be consolidating into the biggest cities, and in the midwest that's Chicago.

Austin is trendy, but could it really support something this big? The metro area there is only 2 million people, and some of the infrastructure already seems stretched.

Toronto could also make a lot of sense, and it might be easier to attract international workers there.

QuietBlue
Target Field
Posts: 512
Joined: September 14th, 2012, 8:50 am

Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby QuietBlue » September 7th, 2017, 11:32 am

LakeCharles wrote:
September 7th, 2017, 11:20 am
I could see Chicago. It's a big city, centrally located, that is much cheaper than the coasts, and they are happy to hand out subsidies (Boeing).
It's not entirely cheaper than the coasts (especially if we include cities within a few hours if the coast), just certain metros.

As for Boeing, that was sixteen years ago. There have been other moves since then, of course, but nothing on this scale, and their finances are in no shape to do this sort of thing at the moment.

QuietBlue
Target Field
Posts: 512
Joined: September 14th, 2012, 8:50 am

Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby QuietBlue » September 7th, 2017, 11:35 am

David Greene wrote:
September 7th, 2017, 11:22 am
It's going to be a real fight. I imagine places like St. Louis, Kansas City, Denver and Raleigh-Durham will be submitting proposals. This is a chance for a medium-/medium-large-sized metro area to leapfrog into the realm of the big boys.
Yeah, this is the tier of city that I see winning it (at least if they stay in the U.S.). Not the ones that are already world-class, but the ones that want to become one.

Scott16475
City Center
Posts: 43
Joined: June 20th, 2012, 12:49 pm

Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby Scott16475 » September 7th, 2017, 11:45 am

David Greene wrote:
September 7th, 2017, 11:22 am
QuietBlue wrote:
September 7th, 2017, 11:13 am
I have a feeling it will definitely be a decent size city, since that's what they want, but not NYC, LA, SF, or Chicago.
It's going to be a real fight. I imagine places like St. Louis, Kansas City, Denver and Raleigh-Durham will be submitting proposals. This is a chance for a medium-/medium-large-sized metro area to leapfrog into the realm of the big boys.
Do these medium sized metros have all of the items Amazon listed as "must have's"? You're more likely to find all of Amazon's 'wants' in a larger metro.

User avatar
Tiller
Foshay Tower
Posts: 853
Joined: January 17th, 2015, 11:58 am

Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby Tiller » September 7th, 2017, 11:47 am

If we leveraged this to get money to build out our transit system, it'd be a double game changer. If they built their HQ at the ford site, developers would be tripping over each other to fill in whatever space is left there with as much housing as possible for the amazon employees. We could also see the rest of the midway soccer stadium site, the south loop, good portions of the riverview corridor, good portions of the blue/green line, etc fill up with housing.

So here's a direct Riverview line, a "cyan line" like proposed by David Levinson here https://streets.mn/2015/12/07/wye-not/, and a Midtown Line from Shady Oak station, to the midtown greenway, to a grade-separated portion of the blue line, to Amazon's HQ, then taking Riverview/Blue line to the airport and MoA.

-Fund Hwy 5 (direct to airport path) Riverview
-Fund Midtown Line
-Grade separation of existing blue line from Lake St to 46th St
-Rail Connection from 46th St station to Sibley Plaza
-Fully grade separating the Blue Line from Ft Snelling to the MoA (like they're talking about partially doing with Riverview right now at Ft Snelling and MoA, but not between)
-Wyes between the Green Line/Blue Line and the Green Line/Riverview Line (via John Ireland Blvd and Marion St)

Image

If I was trying to win over amazon, I would have funding proposals to build out these light rail connections for them. We also have an amazing regional workforce, and an open spot (Ford Site) that requires no site assembly (Ford could outright sell the entire thing to Amazon).

QuietBlue
Target Field
Posts: 512
Joined: September 14th, 2012, 8:50 am

Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby QuietBlue » September 7th, 2017, 11:56 am

Scott16475 wrote:
September 7th, 2017, 11:45 am
Do these medium sized metros have all of the items Amazon listed as "must have's"? You're more likely to find all of Amazon's 'wants' in a larger metro.
There are a number of metros with a million or more residents and strong tech sectors. Of the ones David listed, Denver and Raleigh-Durham are especially known for that.

David Greene
IDS Center
Posts: 4760
Joined: December 4th, 2012, 11:41 am

Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby David Greene » September 7th, 2017, 12:07 pm

Scott16475 wrote:
September 7th, 2017, 11:45 am
David Greene wrote:
September 7th, 2017, 11:22 am
QuietBlue wrote:
September 7th, 2017, 11:13 am
I have a feeling it will definitely be a decent size city, since that's what they want, but not NYC, LA, SF, or Chicago.
It's going to be a real fight. I imagine places like St. Louis, Kansas City, Denver and Raleigh-Durham will be submitting proposals. This is a chance for a medium-/medium-large-sized metro area to leapfrog into the realm of the big boys.
Do these medium sized metros have all of the items Amazon listed as "must have's"? You're more likely to find all of Amazon's 'wants' in a larger metro.
Many of them do. Ultimately, it's a negotiation. Amazon's criteria are a negotiating starting point. I'll bet few of them are deal-breakers. Commitments to build things out could easily satisfy Amazon. It's not like they're going to move people tomorrow.

By putting out an RFP, Amazon is pretty much guaranteeing a fight, which is what they want. Who will give them the most?

The Twin Cities should absolutely make a play. What are the ways Minneapolis and St. Paul could work together on this? The Ford site is intriguing due to its proximity to Minneapolis but what would be in it for Minneapolis? Prospect Park/Westgate is another interesting possibility for a joint bid.

Would Amazon be willing to split employees over two cities if they were well-connected by transit? I think that's a harder sell, but maybe?

David Greene
IDS Center
Posts: 4760
Joined: December 4th, 2012, 11:41 am

Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby David Greene » September 7th, 2017, 12:15 pm

Detroit could make a really strong proposal. There's tons of available land, and cheap. It has a highly educated workforce. If SEMCOG rail/MiTrain were to happen, the proximity to University of Michigan would be very attractive (as would the much closer proximity to U of M here).

Transit is a problem, but they've at least got a (paltry) start at rail transit. The Detroit metro's biggest problem is its almost complete lack of coordinated development, particularly WRT transit. There's a reason it lags other regions so much in that area and it really isn't the auto makers' fault, at least not directly. It's a totally Balkanized metro area, which severely holds it back. Amazon could be a way to break out of that model. If Detroit proper were to land this, it could cause the outer counties to fall in line and actually get things done.

If it's not Minneapolis I really would root for Detroit.

Didier
Capella Tower
Posts: 2438
Joined: June 3rd, 2012, 10:11 am
Location: MSP

Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby Didier » September 7th, 2017, 12:25 pm

So neighbors are losing their minds over a proposal to have some 10-story buildings on the Ford plant, and you guys think they're going to go for a 50,000-person corporate headquarters?

David Greene
IDS Center
Posts: 4760
Joined: December 4th, 2012, 11:41 am

Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby David Greene » September 7th, 2017, 12:32 pm

If Amazon were to go there, I think the city would be pretty comfortable ignoring the neighbors.

David Greene
IDS Center
Posts: 4760
Joined: December 4th, 2012, 11:41 am

Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby David Greene » September 7th, 2017, 12:42 pm

A huge advantage for MSP and other Northern/Great Lakes cities: Climate Change.

Silophant
Moderator
Posts: 3837
Joined: June 20th, 2012, 4:33 pm
Location: The Gateway

Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby Silophant » September 7th, 2017, 12:48 pm

Yeah, someone said upthread that Amazon might go for a Sunbelt city for climate reasons, but... Idk, the south is looking to be pretty uncomfortable in 25 years or so.

SurlyLHT
US Bank Plaza
Posts: 711
Joined: February 21st, 2017, 3:50 pm

Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby SurlyLHT » September 7th, 2017, 12:53 pm

One thing we may have going for us is that Amazon chose to open a North Loop office. Someone in the tech industry said it was because we have tech talent, but they are less likely to move. One site no one has mentioned is the North Minneapolis riverfront where United has rough plans. A) It's pretty close to Downtown and B)It's on the river. C)It has freeway access. D) More solid transit links could easily be made.

User avatar
Tiller
Foshay Tower
Posts: 853
Joined: January 17th, 2015, 11:58 am

Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby Tiller » September 7th, 2017, 1:04 pm

I think I suggested the N minneapolis waterfront in the other thread that was moved, though I think I'd rather see the Ford Site have Amazon. Fwiw, those neighbors complaining about the Ford Site already think developers will build to the maximum. They said the same thing at the South Snelling Rezoning public hearing last night. One person thought all of Snelling was being rezoned to T3.


Return to “Anything Goes”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest