Wishful Thinking: It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Atlanta For Amazon HQ2 Move

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Written by Dana Sanchez

When an Amazon corporate lobbyist registered to do business in Georgia, it triggered speculation. Was this a hint that the company would choose Atlanta? Maybe, maybe not, but Detroit wants Amazon HQ2 more that ATL, according to a new survey.
The city that wins Amazon H2Q will likely follow in the footsteps of Seattle, which has attracted tech employees from around the world. Seattle has invested more heavily in transportation and infrastructure and seen its housing prices go up since it won Amazon H21, MSNBC reported.
Amazon registered lobbyist Jacob Oster on Dec. 7 with the Georgia State Ethics Commission, ahead of the start of Georgia’s legislative session in January, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
However, Amazon said the lobbyist registration is unrelated to its search for a second headquarters. It’s still not clear what state issues interest the e-commerce giant.
“The lobbyist’s presence in Georgia is now ‘the buzz of economic development circles,’ spurring speculation that Amazon is taking a closer look at the state as the potential site of its next home,” the AJC report says.
More than 200 cities are competing to win Amazon’s second North American headquarters and Atlanta is a leading candidate. Lobbyists represent the interests of companies or organizations to lawmakers. Oster’s  LinkedIn profile says he specializes in energy policies at Amazon, AJC reported.
Amazon put out a request for proposals in September from local governments that could offer tax incentives for the company to house its next headquarters there., along with 50,000 new jobs.
Amazon said it preferred metro areas with at least 1 million residents and an educated workforce.
Amazon HQ2

The New York Times Upshot blog predicted that Denver would win but Denver residents themselves don’t want Amazon, and many other areas — especially Detroit — do, CNBC reported:

“In the months since the competition was announced, various outlets have used Amazon’s own requirements to model which cities best meet the qualifications for the company’s second headquarters. Analyses conducted by CNBC show that big cities like New York meet many of the requirements laid out by Amazon in its request for proposals, but southern metro areas — including Charlotte/Raleigh-Durham/Greensboro-High Point, North Carolina — could make a compelling case.”

Detroit residents are ahead of Atlantans when it comes to wishful thinking, according to the latest CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey, conducted Nov. 20–Dec. 4. The survey asked 10,392 people across the U.S. who don’t own small businesses about their thoughts on Amazon.

In the Detroit area, 28 percent of people said they would “definitely” want to work for Amazon if the company brought its second headquarters to town compared to 26 percent in the Atlanta region. By comparison, 24 percent of those surveyed in the Houston region said they would “definitely” want to work for Amazon, 23 percent in the Miami region and 23 percent in greater Los Angeles.

In Seattle, home to Amazon HQ1, the internet giant has reshaped the city “in its own image, attracting tech employees from around the world, driving up housing prices and compelling the city to invest more heavily in transit options and infrastructure,” CNBC reported.

In terms of expectations for an Amazon H2Q impact on the region, Detroit residents were again the most enthusiastic. More than three in four people surveyed said that Amazon would be a “good thing” for their area.