Is Georgia On Their Mind?
2 min read
“This is an Olympic moment. This is a singular moment for Atlanta.”
—Atlanta Mayor, Kasim Reed
On October 19th, the state of Georgia submitted a proposal to Amazon in response to their callout for potential locations for a second headquarters. The company received an incredible 238 bids for its HQ2. Included on their must-have list were: a metropolitan area, a business-friendly environment, a location with the potential to attract strong talent, and communities that think creatively when it comes to real estate.
For the lucky winner, Amazon promises a $5 billion investment, construction of an 8 million square foot campus, and the creation of 50,000 high-paying jobs. Not too shabby.
For the Peach State, the winds are generally in our favor for metro Atlanta. From our point of view at Vista Growth, Atlanta's got a strong presence of what we consider the four placemaking fundamentals (prosperity, mobility, livability, community) needed to entice the e-commerce giant.
As far as business-friendly, Atlanta is already home to titans like Coca-Cola, UPS, and Home Depot as well as startups like MailChimp and Scoutmob. The talent pool is fed by universities like Ga Tech and Emory. The film industry has also set up shop in the state thanks to generous tax incentives, which could be a great supplement for Amazon Studios.
Metro Atlanta is also home to Hartsfield-Jackson, a globally-connected airport,, not to mention the world's busiest, perfect for a company in the shipping business. Public transit connects said airport to the city. And Atlanta’s latest attraction, The Beltline, creates a walkable trail that connects various locations throughout the city.
Being in the Southeast, Atlanta and its suburbs enjoy a temperate climate with 4 variable seasons. The cost of living in Georgia is affordable, especially compared to that of Seattle, home of HQ1. There are mountains in the north part of the state and coastline in the south, and the city offers plenty of greenspace from Piedmont Park to Stone Mountain.
From music to books to art to food, Georgia has a southern culture as sweet as our tea. Also a hub for the Civil Rights Movement and the 1996 Olympics, the state has a diverse and rich history.
So which Atlanta spaces are promising locations for HQ2? The below list highlights a few areas rumored to be included in the proposal.
- The Gulch (downtown)
- AT&T Midtown Center
- The Beltline
- High Street (Dunwoody)
- Assembly (Doraville)
- Ft. McPherson
Ultimately, the chosen city/town/community will have to strike a balance of placemaking qualities to successfully attract the attention of Amazon for HQ2. Will they select Atlanta for all of our virtues? Will they select a surprise city? What do you think?
We'll be waiting on the edge of our seat for the company to announce their selection in 2018.