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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Posted: September 8th, 2017, 12:16 pm
by VacantLuxuries
Also, it wouldn't just be adding 50,000 jobs to Amazon. It would also make us a magnet for companies that want to poach Amazon talent.

Similar to Amazon setting up an office in T3 in the first place - they're out to poach top Target talent.

Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Posted: September 8th, 2017, 1:34 pm
by alexschief
Re: Handicapping MSP's chances

I think there are two possible interpretations of Amazon's motives. One is that they want a city where they can become kings, where Jeff Bezos gets the key to the city, where local politicians fall over themselves to please the company and state politicians throw tons of tax breaks at them, and for a narrative of Amazon as the savior turning a city around. The other is that they want a city like Seattle, with many of the built-in advantages that their RFP identifies, like transit, good airport, major university, etc.

I think if it's the former, you'll see Amazon go to a place like Pittsburgh. But if it's the latter, Minneapolis-Saint Paul has a great shot. I count just ten cities outside of the PNW and Silicon Valley which have all of what Amazon says it needs: a preeminent regional university within the metro, a legitimate transit system, and a major airport: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis-Saint Paul, New York City, Philadelphia, Toronto, and Washington D.C. To that list, perhaps you can add Denver, as Boulder is relatively close.

Of that bunch, Minneapolis-Saint Paul wouldn't be the obvious choice on those merits alone, but if Amazon wants cheaper land, a cheaper cost of living, and sees advantages to being next-door to two other retail giants in Target and Best Buy, then those points could give it an edge. The kicker would be whether Amazon likes any of the prospective sites.

I see four locations where MSP could pitch Amazon: (1) the area around the future Royalston Station, (2) the southern parts of Downtown East and Elliot Park, (3) southeast of TCF Bank Stadium, and (4) Midway. The first offers a chance for Amazon to really completely transform an area of town and get a station named after them. The second offers chances for lots of infill and mixed uses. The third offers direct proximity to the University, but clashes with the school's plans for that area. The fourth may or may not mesh with the stadium development scheme, but there's certainly the largest amount of area ready to be redeveloped. Depends on what Amazon actually wants, but there's certainly no shortage of land available.

Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Posted: September 8th, 2017, 1:38 pm
by Anondson
What about Bloomington’s South Loop and Kelley Farm site. Seems a lot of space still waiting there plus Kelley Farm coming to market. Enough space though?

Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Posted: September 8th, 2017, 3:06 pm
by Silophant
That makes more sense than the Ford Site or TCAAP. That's kinda my concern (if we actually want HQ2, which I'm still not necessarily convinced of), that whoever's making the proposal will insist on pitching those two flavors of the month for big-ticket redevelopment instead of, like, actually reading the RFP and pitching sites that meet the requirements.

Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Posted: September 8th, 2017, 3:16 pm
by MNdible
Yep, totally agree. Both the Ford site and TCAAP are terrible options, given what Amazon will actually be looking for.

Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Posted: September 8th, 2017, 3:16 pm
by xandrex
Yeah, if it's a suburban location in the metro, I'd think the south metro/Bloomington seems to be the best bet. Close to the airport and existing transit (and potentially a train to St. Paul and BRT to downtown Minneapolis in addition to the Blue Line). Plus a larger corporate presence than the north metro.

Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Posted: September 8th, 2017, 3:21 pm
by SurlyLHT
Maybe we'll get some more details on our proposal in the next couple weeks. I really hope it's more imaginative than TCAAP and the Ford Site.

Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Posted: September 8th, 2017, 3:24 pm
by VacantLuxuries
Part of the RFP is that they are to be kept confidential, so probably not.

Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Posted: September 8th, 2017, 3:38 pm
by SurlyLHT
IF you look over their website detailing HQ2. They stress creativity and thinking big.

Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Posted: September 8th, 2017, 4:11 pm
by VacantLuxuries
Maybe we'll get some more details on our proposal in the next couple weeks
I was responding to this part of your message, not the creativity part. Amazon intends these proposals to be made in a vacuum so cities can't yes-and each other.

Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Posted: September 8th, 2017, 5:51 pm
by BigIdeasGuy
alexschief wrote:
September 8th, 2017, 1:34 pm
Re: Handicapping MSP's chances

I think there are two possible interpretations of Amazon's motives. One is that they want a city where they can become kings, where Jeff Bezos gets the key to the city, where local politicians fall over themselves to please the company and state politicians throw tons of tax breaks at them, and for a narrative of Amazon as the savior turning a city around. The other is that they want a city like Seattle, with many of the built-in advantages that their RFP identifies, like transit, good airport, major university, etc.

I think if it's the former, you'll see Amazon go to a place like Pittsburgh. But if it's the latter, Minneapolis-Saint Paul has a great shot. I count just ten cities outside of the PNW and Silicon Valley which have all of what Amazon says it needs: a preeminent regional university within the metro, a legitimate transit system, and a major airport: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis-Saint Paul, New York City, Philadelphia, Toronto, and Washington D.C. To that list, perhaps you can add Denver, as Boulder is relatively close.

Of that bunch, Minneapolis-Saint Paul wouldn't be the obvious choice on those merits alone, but if Amazon wants cheaper land, a cheaper cost of living, and sees advantages to being next-door to two other retail giants in Target and Best Buy, then those points could give it an edge. The kicker would be whether Amazon likes any of the prospective sites.

I see four locations where MSP could pitch Amazon: (1) the area around the future Royalston Station, (2) the southern parts of Downtown East and Elliot Park, (3) southeast of TCF Bank Stadium, and (4) Midway. The first offers a chance for Amazon to really completely transform an area of town and get a station named after them. The second offers chances for lots of infill and mixed uses. The third offers direct proximity to the University, but clashes with the school's plans for that area. The fourth may or may not mesh with the stadium development scheme, but there's certainly the largest amount of area ready to be redeveloped. Depends on what Amazon actually wants, but there's certainly no shortage of land available.
Not to pick apart your post but what is Baltimore's major University? Other than John Hopkins I can't think of one, although the University of Maryland isn't that far down the road.

Also I think for multiple cities you listed to find space for 8 million sq ft for new offices in or close to downtown, NYC for sure but also most others would all have trouble finding the land. Another challenge DC proper has is that buildings have a height limit imposed by Congress meaning even more land is required.

To make DT East and Elliot Park work I think you would almost have to buy out and relocate North Central Bible College. Is there enough space in the area without doing that?

Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Posted: September 8th, 2017, 5:56 pm
by EOst
BigIdeasGuy wrote:
September 8th, 2017, 5:51 pm
Not to pick apart your post but what is Baltimore's major University? Other than John Hopkins I can't think of one, although the University of Maryland isn't that far down the road.
Johns Hopkins is #13 worldwide in the THE rankings.

Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Posted: September 8th, 2017, 5:58 pm
by BigIdeasGuy
EOst wrote:
September 8th, 2017, 5:56 pm
BigIdeasGuy wrote:
September 8th, 2017, 5:51 pm
Not to pick apart your post but what is Baltimore's major University? Other than John Hopkins I can't think of one, although the University of Maryland isn't that far down the road.
Johns Hopkins is #13 worldwide in the THE rankings.
I know John Hopkins is a very good school I was more referring to the size not the quality.

Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Posted: September 9th, 2017, 2:40 pm
by go4guy
I am not convinced they will be able to add 50,000 jobs in a new location. I just can't see Amazon growing that much. More and more retailers will follow Target's lead and break their cloud servicing deals with Amazon, and their retail can only go so far before they start getting anti-trust issues. Not to mention, I don't believe the company is even profitable. I could be wrong on that, but I thought that is what I heard.

But with regards to MSP being a good candidate,
- One of the healthiest metros in the country
- Great education system
- A great university w/ 50k+ and about 5 other good smaller colleges right in the city.
- Very strong economy
- Transit system that continues to improve. And landing a company like this would only prioritize other lines of LRT and streetcars.

I think they have a pretty good shot.

Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Posted: September 9th, 2017, 2:45 pm
by EOst
The NYTimes cuts us in the very first round: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/201 ... rs-be.html

Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Posted: September 10th, 2017, 1:53 am
by Didier
Any idea which metric they used to determine job growth? I've never heard we are struggling.

Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Posted: September 10th, 2017, 10:26 am
by Chef
The Twin Cities don't get as much job growth because we have full employment and chronic labor shortages except during recessions. Full employment limits the rate at which you can add jobs. We would need a major influx of transplants to have high job growth.

I suspect that labor shortages will be the deal breaker for us.

Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Posted: September 10th, 2017, 10:41 am
by Anondson
Amazon recruits nationally and globally. Local tight job market might influence, I can imagine it not being high on the list of factors though.

Might entirely depend what kinds of jobs get located in HQ2. There’s full equal in importance but then there’s full equal in role.

Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Posted: September 10th, 2017, 11:14 am
by nate
I don't think we will get selected, but I do sense MSP would make some kind of a short list because we have many of the qualities they seem to be after. If we were somehow to get it, without breaking the bank, then bully for us. I would be pumped.

I do think if we want to have a chance then the site *must* be adjacent to the core of Minneapolis. I know it sounds like fun to have this campus fill in the Ford site, the Ammo Plant site, the United stadium site, or completely transform DT St Paul, but if we are to draw on the best strengths of our region then we have to engage our best urban core that already contains the amenities, infrastructure, and adjacencies to the U that already exist. If this were to actually happen, it would completely scramble the status quo in the Twin Cities office and residential market. All the locations mentioned above would benefit enormously as markets reshuffled and businesses sought different locations. There is no need to placate St Paul by locating the proposal entirely or partially within it.

A Farmer's Market location with a publicly funded, flashy freeway cap/park over 394 to connect the site to the core of downtown seems like the best bet, to me.

Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Posted: September 10th, 2017, 11:16 am
by nate
All that said, this RFP seems destined to be awarded to Denver or Austin. Anywhere else and I would be pretty surprised.