Over the past few months, Amazon has been very public about their search for a second headquarters. (They have looked at 238 different cities.)  I wanted to share a bit of this process and what it might mean to the economic development communities across the country. The Amazon announcement will play out over the next year, but the process is what interests me. Below is the summary page of a great whitepaper on the site selection.  (Read the full report here: “Amazon HQ2: A Reset Button for Site Selection.“)
At the same time, Apple is looking for a similar requirement.  Bet you didn’t know that.  Why? Because they are doing their search completely different than Amazon. They are looking at a short list and doing it very confidentially.  I’ve linked to two articles to find out why and how:  article 1 and article 2.
I have not had the opportunity to represent either firm, but we have been blessed to work with other corporate headquarters relocations and have dealt with state and city government and economic development incentive packages.  Here are some takeaways from my experiences:
–The economic development process is getting disrupted in numerous ways.  Traditional business is changing, new types of companies and the type of employees they hire are miles from what we have seen over the last two decades.  –The only answer is workforce.  The only question is:  where can I hire the employees I need to grow my business?  If you can’t answer this question, your community will not grow.

–Individual companies will decide how they want the search to proceed.  New companies can dictate how they want their process to unfold as cities and states now understand the value of a vibrant growing community.

–Hiring a local advisor is paramount.  Neither the market nor the requirement matter; each company needs a local advisor to work with them on the nuances and specific issues for each market AND submarket in the finalist cities they are pursuing. 

We know the ins and outs of Metro Phoenix and its submarkets. We’ve been working in them for over 25 years. If you need a local advisor to help with your company’s relocation, big or small, call me.


Click Here for the Full Report
amazon's key ideas