Amazon’s New Headquarters Could End Up North or South of the Border

Sep 07, 2017

Most of Thursday's news articles about Amazon's quest to set up a second headquarters somewhere other than its existing Seattle home focused on a number of U.S. cities that met its criteria.

Marketwatch, for example, listed Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Bridgeport, Denver, New York, Provo, Raleigh, Tampa, and Washington D.C. as cities that met Amazon's requirements. Conspicuously missing from that list were Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Mississauga—all in Canada—and Mexico City. U.S-based reporters seem to forget that Mexico and Canada are also in North America. (Amazon explicitly noted that the new headquarters, or HQ2, would be in North America.)

They all have their draws: Montreal, for example, is a hotbed of research in artificial intelligence, a field of great importance to Amazon (amzn). Toronto is a world-class, diverse city on Lake Ontario. And it is, for the record, already in the race, according to The Star. Halifax, Vancouver and Ottawa are also interested, according to the CBC. Whether Amazon would consider a city as close to Seattle as Vancouver is an open question. Presumably, one reason to create another headquarters would be to create some geographic (and time zone) diversity.

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After Amazon (amzn) posted its news on Thursday, local newspapers chimed in with their own takes about why their hometowns may be good fits for what Amazon is calling HQ2

Given the stakes—Amazon says it will invest $5 billion in HQ2, which would be home to 50,000 people—it' s not surprising that many cities are coming forward, including Chicago, according to The Chicago Tribune. The Boston Globe listed both reasons why Boston may make the list and why it is unlikely to do so.

Denver, Pittsburgh, San Jose, Baltimore, and Philadelphia have also expressed interest in being home to Amazon HQ2.

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