Online retail giant Amazon recently announced that it has narrowed the list of contenders for its new headquarters down to 20 cities. Out of an initial 238 that submitted bids in 2017, this new short list of potential sites for HQ2, as Amazon is calling it, is big news.
Like, really big news.
When Amazon announced that it would be scouting areas for a second headquarters, cities across the country – and globe – began drafting proposals to attract the massive retailer. Some got pretty creative, including our own Sly James, mayor of Kansas City. Mayor James posted 1,000 product reviews on random items, carefully tying each one to something KC-related. Unfortunately, his efforts didn’t pay off, as Kansas City didn’t make the cut.
But don’t worry KC investors. There are 20 other cities that did, and now is the time to turn your eye toward these markets. Here are the short-listed sites for HQ2:
Montgomery County, MD
Some of the criteria that Amazon is looking for in its second home include:
- Urban or suburban area with more than 1 million inhabitants
- Proximity to an airport with international flight options
- Proximity to mass transit/highway systems
- Site space of at least 8 million square feet for its campus
- Cooperation/incentives from local and state governments (tax credits, relocation grants, etc.)
- Large, educated talent pool of prospective employees
- High quality of life for local residents/cultural fit for the Amazon brand
Amazon says that HQ2 will cost $5 billion to build and operate, and that it will bring in 50,000 high-paying jobs. Naturally, this is what piqued my interest. With HQ2 bringing in that many jobs, demand for housing in the area is going to spike as people come to fill those positions. This presents a fantastic opportunity for real estate investors to get into that market as soon as the chosen city is announced. If you can swoop in and buy one or more properties before all the other investors take action, you’re virtually guaranteed to succeed.
My advice: Start following this story now. Set up a Google alert so you’re notified of any new developments, and start considering some of these markets. People are already making predictions about which place will be chosen, based on the criteria listed above and how well a particular city meets Amazon’s needs. So start doing your own investigating. See what others are saying. Check out current market stats for the cities you think will be the true contenders – or check out all of them if you like!
Whatever city makes the final cut should be of immediate interest to investors, and it doesn’t hurt to start considering some of the short-listed markets now. Like they say, the early bird gets the worm.