How cities, Amazon would benefit from HQ2 ‘sweepstakes'

Race for Amazon

DALLAS - When the online seller of just about everything announced in September that it was shopping for a second headquarters, potential sites in many North Texas cities popped up in the search results.

Dallas Business Journal reporter Bill Hethcock says about a dozen local cities are vying to become Amazon’s second home.

“There are at least 30 sites and there could be 50 or more," he said. "The competition, even within the Metroplex, is extremely, extremely intense.”

Along with cities across the country, local sites that meet Amazon’s strict criteria must submit their proposals to the e-commerce company by October 19. Hethcock says locally intriguing options for Amazon’s HQ2 include vacant land right next to The University of Texas at Dallas, which is a powerhouse in the tech world.

PDF: The Amazon Effect: Impact on North Texas

“UT Dallas has had a record of success with innovative companies," he said.

He also sees viability in a potential spot in The Cedars neighborhood just south of downtown Dallas, which could become a big rail hub.

“That would capitalize on the bullet train station so high-speed rail," Hethcock said.

And not far from there, Hethcock said Victory Park is a good fit for Amazon’s requirements. And those are just three of the dozens of potential HQ2 locations in North Texas mapped by our partners at the Dallas Business Journal.

"We have so many options not only in sites but neighborhoods to live in, education process, airports—we’ve got two," said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. "So, as an ex-CEO, I look at optionality and I see that as a real asset.”

Rawlings said when Amazon announced it was looking he and a local delegation immediately went to scout out the company’s original home office in Seattle.

“We went the first week," he said. "When we first heard about this we wanted to be on the ground…look at the buildings, look at their campuses, talk to their employees and talk to folks who knew how the operation ran.”

If HQ2 comes to North Texas and eventually realizes its full potential of 50,000 workers, Amazon would employ more people here than the total who now work at locally based Texas Instruments, Southwest Airlines, AT&T and Toyota combined.

Dallas Regional Chamber submitted the following video pitch to Amazon, showcasing what residents stand for and why they call the Dallas Fort Worth region home:

“I personally believe this relocation decision is one of the most important in the history of corporate America,” said Dan Howard, a SMU Cox Marketing professor.

He believes that regardless of where Amazon goes, its headquarters hunt will bring big benefits for the company.

“The first is in terms of brand image," he said. "If so many cities are fighting over a company then that company must indeed be good, desirable and beneficial”.

Also, Howard says all the positive publicity about Amazon sticks in consumers’ heads and will likely send its sales surging.

“I would be stunned if it did not," he said. "People think more favorably of Amazon. People think more frequently of Amazon. These are the types of things that propel sales.”

But perhaps the biggest benefit, he says, "Let me make one point perfectly clear, Amazon is going to play one city against the other."

Howard thinks Amazon will get the headquarters it wants, and perhaps much more, as cities battle it out to be the only one left in the cart when the shopping is done.

Dfw Amazon Map by wfaachannel8 on Scribd

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