While speculation continues regarding where online retail giant Amazon will locate its second headquarters, a new report suggests that the facility bidding process itself may have revealed to the company which cities are up to the challenge of taking on the massive project.
According to the report, entitled Amazon HQ2: How Did We Get Here? What Comes Next?, the mass accumulation of data submitted by 238 cities and metro areas in response to a request for proposals issued by Amazon in 2017 has more than likely told Amazon everything it needs to know about where it wants to move.
Those responses, says the Brookings Institute report, “ resulted in a massive trove of relevant data and intelligence that now constitutes the most comprehensive database of local market and civic intelligence in the world.”
“While Amazon’s well-staffed site selection team probably could have crunched the numbers and conducted site visits to arrive at its HQ2 shortlist without the public solicitation,” the report continues, “even it would have trouble tracking down every recent or planned civic initiative which may influence the company’s choice for HQ2.”
The report, authored by Joseph Parilla, a fellow at Brookings’ Metropolitan Policy Program, also suggests that this newly-acquired information will play a role in future Amazon facility decisions beyond where the second headquarters will be built.
“Even as Amazon has committed to plopping $5 billion in one place for HQ2, it is also building logistics facilities, R & D hubs, data centers, and back offices in communities across the continent,” the report adds.
Besides the collection of data, how the cities responded, in terms of putting together compelling bids in a short six-week time period, also most likely told Amazon which cities and metro areas have the ability to address large business challenges quickly.
Earlier this year, Amazon announced that it had pared the original list of 238 respondents down to a finalists list of 20 cities.
It is still not known when the company will announce exactly where it is going to build its new headquarters, which is expected to see a first phase construction of anywhere from 500,000 to 1 million square feet.
By Garry Boulard