Following Amazon’s “HQ2”
Jeffrey Bezos, the founder of Amazon, created his company when he was only thirty years old. Starting out as a simple bookstore in Bezo’s garage, Amazon is now recognized as the second one-trillion dollar company following right behind Apple. Amazon is currently headquartered on the far western region of the United States in Seattle, Washington. In the past year, Amazon has been seeking to expand their horizons and actually begin a second headquarters on the eastern side of the United States. A number of cities have been scouted for this new transition including Boston, Pittsburgh, Nashville, and, as many of you may have heard, Raleigh! Unfortunately, Amazon decided to place their second headquarters (HQ2) elsewhere. Amazon’s HQ2 (and technically HQ3) is expected to arise in Arlington, Virginia and Long Island City, New York.
So, what made Amazon choose these two cities over Raleigh, North Carolina? Was our Research Triangle not supportive enough to bear the multi-billion dollar company? Well, it turns out that Amazon was actually highly considering choosing Raleigh as the location of their HQ2, but Amazon was more interested in both Arlington and Long Island for a number of reasons. Firstly, these cities, or even the overall states, are deemed to be far more popular than that of Raleigh, especially New York. With popularity being a large factor in Amazon’s choice, it is believed that Amazon actually decided to split its HQ2 into two parts to reduce the stress of high traffic and high population densities, potentially preserving the economic structure of these cities. Secondly, along with the headquarters, Amazon will bring a large number of jobs to the area. Amazon wishes to fill these new jobs with people brimming with talent or new ideas, and where better to find those people than inside New York itself. Lastly, Arlington, Virginia is a city that is less than five miles away from Washington D.C. With Amazon being located so closely to the capital of the U.S., it is expected to gain an extensive amount of power, both socially and politically. Ultimately, Amazon is expected to receive many more benefits from Arlington and Long Island than if they settled for Raleigh.
Now, let us pretend that Amazon did decide to move their HQ2 to Raleigh. What type of opportunities would become available to those in this area? Amazon has set a potential goal to invest around five-billion dollars in their HQ2’s city. This five-billion dollar investment will essentially boost the economy and the community that surrounds it. Also, the movement of Amazon is expected to create somewhere around fifty to sixty-thousand new jobs for the people inhabiting the town. Although a large number of incoming jobs might sound like a great opportunity, this may not be the case. One of the biggest reasons why Amazon looked past the city of Raleigh was due to our undeveloped infrastructure in transit and transportation. Amazon’s HQ2 will not only cause large amounts of traffic in the surrounding area of business, but it will also attract individuals from other cities or states adding to the dense population of the already busy city.
In conclusion, lots of people from many different cities were very disappointed when they were informed their city was not chosen to be the location of the HQ2. Despite the results that many found to be unsatisfactory, Amazon was rather strategic about the placement of their second headquarters. Even though Amazon is not located directly in our town, we can still expect improvements out of the company itself. With Amazon having a headquarters much closer to our location, it may provide Amazon with an opportunity to focus on further improving the quality of their warehouse and distribution processes. Although Amazon did not choose us, we are a growing city that has many qualities that are favorable for big business, so it is only a matter of time before we get our big chance. Next time, we’ll be ready.