In case you missed it, Amazon announced last Thursday that they plan to build a second headquarters, “HQ2,” which will employ upwards of 50,000 people and cost $5 billion to construct and operate. And there’s a very real possibility it could end up in Dallas.
Cities across the United States are vying for the opportunity to be the home for HQ2 after Amazon announced it is seeking proposals from local and state government leaders. Amazon released a statement saying it is seeking a metropolitan area with more than 1 million people that can attract and retain technical workers and “a stable and business-friendly environment.”
Dallas city leaders are already formulating a game plan to woo the technical giant, and the overall consensus is that we have a good chance.
CNN Money listed Dallas as one of eight cities that’s fit for HQ2. BloombergView listed it as one of six possible cities. The Seattle Times, a publication that shares a hometown with Amazon, lists Dallas as one of three possible cities. The New York Times made an interactive map of places and then whittled down the options until only Denver was left, but Dallas made it through some significant cuts.
On a more local level, The Dallas Morning News posted a detailed report on “why the Dallas area may have a shot at Amazon’s second headquarter.” (Here’s the TLDR version: an international airport, large buildings that are already available, a growing population of highly educated tech workers, and a number of local universities.) Of course, it’s not all sunshine and roses. D Magazine was quick to point out that DART is Dallas’ greatest weakness.
If it does happen, however, DMN reporter Steve Brown speculated it would be the “greatest corporate move of all time to Dallas-Fort Worth,” and a quick glance through his story makes it clear why he thinks that:
American Airlines brought 1,300 people in 1978; J.C. Penney brought in 3,800 people in 1987; Exxon brought at least 300 of its top executives to Irving in 1989; and AT&T brought about 1,000 in 2008. In just the last few years the Dallas market has been a buzz with gains from Toyota’s headquarters move to Plano, which brought 4,000 employees to the area, and State Farm Insurance has hired or relocated close to 10,000 people for its corporate campus in Richardson. Liberty Mutual Insurance plans to open its new office in Plano later this year with almost 5,000 workers.
Now say “50,000 Amazon employees” ten times fast, and you get the point; it’s a lot.
On top of that, Amazon says it plans to invest $5 billion in construction and operation of the new location. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says they “expect HQ2 to be a full equal to our Seattle headquarters” and “bring billions of dollars in up-front and ongoing investments.”
Whichever city lands HQ2 will undoubtedly gain some serious perks, such as more tax revenue and more economic growth; however, on the other hand, it could also bring with it more congestion and higher housing costs — something that has already been on the rise in Dallas for the past several years.
Amazon plans to announce its decision next year.