In case you haven’t heard, tech giant Amazon is preparing for cell division of its massive Seattle-based headquarters and Atlanta could be the host body of the new genetic material. Speculation is rampant as to which major cities are serious contenders (D.C., Toronto and Dallas to name a few), but most pundits put our city on the short list - anywhere in the top 5 to top 10. With those odds, it’s no surprise that you can’t leave the beauty salon or checkout without hearing the buzz.

If you are curious about the details, I’ve linked the request for proposal known as Amazon HQ2 RFP here, but the essential requirements are:

  • Within 30 miles of a metro area with 1M+ residents
  • Within 45 miles of an international airport
  • Within 2 miles of a major artery
  • Educated labor pool
  • Access to mass transit at the headquarters
  • Stable and business-friendly environment (read incentives)
  • Living areas that will attract techies
  • Creative approaches to real estate options

The benefits to the new host city are:

  • 50,000 new jobs over 10 to 15 years with an average total compensation exceeding $100,000
  • $5B in capital investment possible over 15 - 17 years
  • Investments in state-of-the-art technology, transit options, sustainability and digital connectivity

Bisnow, a digital media company in the commercial real estate sector, spoke to John Boyd of The Boyd Company, a highly regarded site selection firm, to get his assessment of Atlanta’s chances. In short, Mr. Boyd believes Atlanta is a very strong contender with its solid credit rating and lower property taxes (compared to northern cities) but its traffic congestion and slow progress in transit improvements will undoubtedly be big negatives.

Regardless, proposals are due Oct 19 and Amazon only promises to announce its choice some time in 2018. We have until then to fix Marta! :-)