Amazon's New HQ?

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EOst
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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby EOst » September 7th, 2017, 1:05 pm

Didier wrote:
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?
Works for Joe Soucheray: http://www.twincities.com/2017/09/07/so ... etter-one/

David Greene
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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby David Greene » September 7th, 2017, 1:05 pm

There's already a park planned for the riverfront. Those plans could change of course. If the park is built, is there room for a campus of this size? It would be a really cool location.

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Nathan
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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby Nathan » September 7th, 2017, 1:25 pm

I think it's a fantastic pipe dream and I definitely think we should play ball. And speaking of ball.. I'm sure a lot of conversations happen between the well connected. I can think of one large chunk of land in the urban metro already connected to transit, that's expansive, inexpensive and has motivated owners. The midway soccer stadium site. It's huge. McGuire could easily help facilitate it and they could have supplementary space in either downtown along the green line.

Scott16475
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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby Scott16475 » September 7th, 2017, 1:34 pm

Has anyone from the Twin Cities commented on whether or not we're going to apply? I've seen quotes from other cities but so far I haven't seen anything from either city.

EDIT: Never mind. I see a quote from Gov. Dayton stating he's assigned a committee to try and win over Amazon. I like it! I like!

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VacantLuxuries
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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby VacantLuxuries » September 7th, 2017, 1:41 pm

The midway soccer stadium site.
I love this idea

SurlyLHT
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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby SurlyLHT » September 7th, 2017, 1:42 pm

I like the Midway idea as well. It's not only well positioned between the Downtowns, but near the University of Minnesota as well.

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Tiller
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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby Tiller » September 7th, 2017, 1:58 pm

I dunno, I don't think the green line has enough capacity as-is to deal with a new amazon campus, which would be like the MLS stadium but continously all the time, on top of event traffic from the stadium. We'd have to talk about elevating the Green Line and rezoning even more land. It's closer to a freeway (94), but with the Ford Site we can more fully leverage our transit system.

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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby colink » September 7th, 2017, 1:59 pm

I was in Seattle last week and stayed in a hotel 1 block from the Amazon "Campus". I have to say that I was blown away by the amount of development going on in that area of town (South Lake Union). I lived and worked in that area in the early 90's and I have to say that it is a shockingly different city now. It is as if they built an entire city of lego's and dropped it down in the middle of Seattle. I was a bit overwhelmed and have to wonder how sustainable that level of development is. It also seems to have sucked the soul out of that part of town. All of the places that I used to frequent (Sit & Spin, Doghouse, etc) are gone and replaced with shiny new businesses. If they are looking for a similar location for HQ2, there's no way it will be in Arden Hills or even the Ford plant. And a couple of blocks aren't going to cut it. Maybe midway or Basset Creek. It will need to be a location that caters to a young urban workforce. The Seattle location makes the Target headquarters in Mpls look like a retirement home.

Another thing to note is that although Seattle has a TON of interesting, high quality structures being built, they have more than their fair share of crappy low rise residential as well. Probably more than even Minneapolis.

SurlyLHT
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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby SurlyLHT » September 7th, 2017, 2:14 pm

Maybe Amazon could spread around Downtown and be knitted together via the skyway? We don't have many large spaces Downtown, but we do have low buildings and parking lots Downtown that could be connected via the skyway. Do other cities have more open space than we have? Unfortunately, MSP simply isn't desperate or in dire need of Amazon.

SurlyLHT
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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby SurlyLHT » September 7th, 2017, 2:19 pm

I just glanced at Austin on Google Maps...their Downtown has space, but would be really overwhelmed by Amazon.

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Nathan
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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby Nathan » September 7th, 2017, 2:35 pm

Tiller wrote:
September 7th, 2017, 1:58 pm
I dunno, I don't think the green line has enough capacity as-is to deal with a new amazon campus, which would be like the MLS stadium but continously all the time, on top of event traffic from the stadium. We'd have to talk about elevating the Green Line and rezoning even more land. It's closer to a freeway (94), but with the Ford Site we can more fully leverage our transit system.
They're looking for 500k sf of office space at first and developing the area over a decade. That gives plenty of time for the area and transit to expand with the company in Midway. And how is fully utilizing the A line and the Green Line not fully leveraging out transit system? They're looking for 2019... No portion of the Riverview corridor is going to be more than a proposal at that point.

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Tiller
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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby Tiller » September 7th, 2017, 3:17 pm

Nathan wrote:
September 7th, 2017, 2:35 pm
Tiller wrote:
September 7th, 2017, 1:58 pm
I dunno, I don't think the green line has enough capacity as-is to deal with a new amazon campus, which would be like the MLS stadium but continously all the time, on top of event traffic from the stadium. We'd have to talk about elevating the Green Line and rezoning even more land. It's closer to a freeway (94), but with the Ford Site we can more fully leverage our transit system.
They're looking for 500k sf of office space at first and developing the area over a decade. That gives plenty of time for the area and transit to expand with the company in Midway. And how is fully utilizing the A line and the Green Line not fully leveraging out transit system? They're looking for 2019... No portion of the Riverview corridor is going to be more than a proposal at that point.
Well this contradicts itself. If they're only starting in 2019 and building it out over a decade, if we used this proposal to secure funding for transit improvements, then Amazon's HQ can make Riverview happen, and potentially speed up the timeline for implementing it. The Ford Site is more centrally located, too, meaning it's easier to improve access to both downtowns, the airport, and other nodes like Uptown. There are more options.

Need more capacity towards St Paul? You've got riverview, A Line -> Green Line, upgrading the 74/63 buses to aBRT. What about Uptown/South Minneapolis? You can build the Midtown line, extend the A Line to Grandview. Airport access? That's what riverview is for, or you could even create a new service depending on what other rail/transit investments are made. Downtown Minneapolis? You've got the blue line, and tons of transit routes going downtown that could be accessed from a crosstown route (N-S or E-W) that goes to the Ford Site.

If there's minimal new investment, Midway is the best site, because we already have the green line and A Line. If we find enough will/money to leverage Amazon to make improvements to our transit system, the Ford Site gives us more flexibility to make improvements depending on what is needed.

I do accept your point that we can make changes to the green line/A Line since we'll have time, though that would also require money. The Ford Site also has pretty alright transit access thanks to the A Line, the Blue Line, and local bus routes (54 and 74 to downtown St Paul).

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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby xandrex » September 7th, 2017, 3:31 pm

When I heard Minnesota was going to bid, I immediately thought of the BCVS area, as the buildings could come online just as the rail is being developed. It also provides a connection to the southwest suburbs, which would seem to have a lot of potential talent (and it would be connected to the east metro through the Green Line as well).

That said, in a world where we somehow magically won this bid, I think a way to make the subsidies more palatable would be to put it somewhere in North Minneapolis with an agreement for some equity promises. This could be a one-in-a-lifetime catalyst for the Northside, which has plenty of great neighborhoods but struggles with a reputation. Of course, it would cause howls of gentrification, so you’d need hiring agreements or affordable housing or something in the mix as well.

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Nathan
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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby Nathan » September 7th, 2017, 3:44 pm

Tiller wrote:
September 7th, 2017, 3:17 pm
Nathan wrote:
September 7th, 2017, 2:35 pm
Tiller wrote:
September 7th, 2017, 1:58 pm
I dunno, I don't think the green line has enough capacity as-is to deal with a new amazon campus, which would be like the MLS stadium but continously all the time, on top of event traffic from the stadium. We'd have to talk about elevating the Green Line and rezoning even more land. It's closer to a freeway (94), but with the Ford Site we can more fully leverage our transit system.
They're looking for 500k sf of office space at first and developing the area over a decade. That gives plenty of time for the area and transit to expand with the company in Midway. And how is fully utilizing the A line and the Green Line not fully leveraging out transit system? They're looking for 2019... No portion of the Riverview corridor is going to be more than a proposal at that point.
Well this contradicts itself. If they're only starting in 2019 and building it out over a decade, if we used this proposal to secure funding for transit improvements, then Amazon's HQ can make Riverview happen, and potentially speed up the timeline for implementing it. The Ford Site is more centrally located, too, meaning it's easier to improve access to both downtowns, the airport, and other nodes like Uptown. There are more options.

Need more capacity towards St Paul? You've got riverview, A Line -> Green Line, upgrading the 74/63 buses to aBRT. What about Uptown/South Minneapolis? You can build the Midtown line, extend the A Line to Grandview. Airport access? That's what riverview is for, or you could even create a new service depending on what other rail/transit investments are made. Downtown Minneapolis? You've got the blue line, and tons of transit routes going downtown that could be accessed from a crosstown route (N-S or E-W) that goes to the Ford Site.

If there's minimal new investment, Midway is the best site, because we already have the green line and A Line. If we find enough will/money to leverage Amazon to make improvements to our transit system, the Ford Site gives us more flexibility to make improvements depending on what is needed.

I do accept your point that we can make changes to the green line/A Line since we'll have time, though that would also require money. The Ford Site also has pretty alright transit access thanks to the A Line, the Blue Line, and local bus routes (54 and 74 to downtown St Paul).
Acknowledging that both sites can improve transit capacity over the time that the company grows... to your argument that Midway is not ready to handle game day amounts of traffic everyday... how is the ford site and highland park any more ready to handle 10s of thousands of extra people everyday? are hwy 5 and 55 and 62 really as capable as 94 at funneling people from around the metro to a major campus?

I see that there are plenty of "Fixes" using the ford site... we could direct transit at anywhere we wanted... if we wanted and had the money. But how is a company looking for extreme concessions going to help get all of that built?

The Midtown corridor lrt could also cross the river and connect with the A-line or even up to University in some stretch of the imagination.

I definitely want to see the ford site built out and with great transit, but it is not remotely easy to get to from the most dense populations that currently exist in comparison to midway. If you live in DT MPLS or STP it's less than 30 minutes to Midway, no connections, helping convince future employees to live in the core cities and take transit. I can't see that being possible for the Ford site. The ford site also has much better access from the south metro suburbs than from either core. Therefore I'd still see many Minnesotan's or transplants working for amazon (making over 100k) desiring to live in less dense neighborhoods south of the cities, or reverse commuting by car as that would be much faster than multiple transfers, train or not. Not to mention that the Ford site would also probably be built with more ample parking as it isn't currently connected.

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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby seanrichardryan » September 7th, 2017, 3:46 pm

Amazon already has a presence in Austin TX with the Whole Foods acquisition.
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Didier
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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby Didier » September 7th, 2017, 3:52 pm

Seriously, have you guys been to the Ford site? A single light rail line wouldn't come close to making it accessible enough. There's not one major highway that it's convenient to, which is kind of important when you're talking about a facility this big.

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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby David Greene » September 7th, 2017, 3:53 pm

xandrex wrote: That said, in a world where we somehow magically won this bid, I think a way to make the subsidies more palatable would be to put it somewhere in North Minneapolis with an agreement for some equity promises. This could be a one-in-a-lifetime catalyst for the Northside, which has plenty of great neighborhoods but struggles with a reputation. Of course, it would cause howls of gentrification, so you’d need hiring agreements or affordable housing or something in the mix as well.
That's why I think BCV is so perfect. It's close enough to North (and if you include the impound lot, it *is* North) but no one lives there so displacement shouldn't be an issue. Gentrification is already happening in North and this will speed it up but at least you don't have to take any homes or businesses for the campus and it's entirely plausible that high-density housing will ease the gentrification pressure.

The whole area around BCVS is controlled by the city, so no nasty site assembly problems like we've seen in the Midway. It's a brownfield, so points for removing blight from that part of the city. Near North residents want this area developed.

You could also extend this into the area south of Glenwood, but then you're talking about taking light industrial, which may or may not be harmful or beneficial.

The Northside riverfront is another possibility but transit is more difficult there and it's not really connected to North Minneapolis proper all that well. Land bridge? :)

I don't know where I would put this in the "heart" of North Minneapolis. Blow up Lowry again and re-do it lined with Amazon instead of useless half-lots? Not sure there's enough room there.

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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby BigIdeasGuy » 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?

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Nathan
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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby Nathan » 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?

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Re: Amazon's New HQ?

Postby kellonathan » September 7th, 2017, 4:05 pm

http://www.seattletimes.com/business/am ... nexpected/

I read this article on my bus ride to work in downtown Seattle, passing by Amazon HQ, and since then, I'm definitely on the hype train. I think we have a really strong case for MSP/MN compared to some other cities' names that are being thrown around. Austin? Raleigh? Twin Cities got multiple legs up when it comes to transit, for instance.
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