kansas city


Amazon is kind of clever in the way that they’ve approached finding a location for HQ2, don’t you think?  Some have even called it a “swimsuit competition”.  Meaning, the cities that want HQ2, have to showcase something that is unique about their city.  Much like a contestant in a beauty pageant would showcase their body during the swimsuit competition.  And they’re not wrong.  I mean, these cities are putting themselves out there in a way that they don’t normally have to, in attempt to get Amazon to bring its second headquarters to their city.  Amazon received 238 proposals from cities, states, districts, and territories.  Some even from cities in Canada and Mexico.  Amazon has narrowed the list down to 20 cities, but in this post, I want to talk about who didn’t make the list and why.


Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore has some issues when it comes to crime, so there’s a chance that this factor deterred Amazon.  But they are also lacking good mass transit. Which is important when you’re bringing an industry to a new city.  You need to make sure that people can get to their job, especially if they don’t have cars.  You also can’t assume or ensure that everyone that works for you has a vehicle.  These days, it’s not necessarily about money.  If you live in a city with decent transit, you don’t need one.  What’s interesting is that if Baltimore did make the list, it would be the fourth location in and around the Washington, DC area.  Maybe that was another reason?  Too many cities picked in the same area?


Charlotte, North Carolina

This one kind of makes me sad.  The Editorial Board at the Charlotte Observer wrote the following in the paper: “Our bid had the distinct feel of a 50-year old putting on Adidas and a craft brew shirt to look cool to the kids”.  Ouch.  That’s a bit harsh.  Which says that Charlotte doesn’t have a lot to offer to Amazon.  Perhaps that’s why they didn’t make the list?  Raleigh, however, did, so there’s a good chance that Amazon could land in North Carolina, at least.


Detroit, Michigan

Anyone who knows Detroit knows that they are really trying to rebuild their city after years of not having a lot of growth.  That said, the reason Detroit didn’t make the list has to do with the amount of tech talent in the area.  They also don’t have great mass transit, so like Baltimore that might have taken them out of the running.

kansas city

Kansas City, Missouri

This one is also a bit sad.  You remember how the Mayor of Kansas City purchased 1000 Amazon products and promised to review each of them on Amazon’s website?  Well, his bid got cut from the list as well.  The reason had nothing to do with the inventive submission.  Rather, there weren’t a lot of incentives for Amazon to land in Kansas, City and they have a relatively small population of tech workers.


Minneapolis, Minnesota

While their submission did offer anywhere between $3 and $5 million in incentives to Amazon, this was a lot smaller than more than $1 billion in incentives offered by at least 9 of the 20 cities still on Amazon’s list. $1 billion in incentives is insane!  But good for Amazon.

So who did make the list?

  • Atlanta, Ga.
  • Austin, Texas
  • Boston, Mass.
  • Chicago, lll.
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Dallas, Texas
  • Denver, Colo.
  • Indianapolis, Ind.
  • Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Miami, Fla.
  • Montgomery County, Md.
  • Nashville, Tenn.
  • Newark, N.J.
  • New York City, N.Y.
  • Northern Virginia, Va.
  • Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Raleigh, N.C.
  • Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Washington. D.C.

This looks like some really hot competition, so I am definitely looking forward to seeing where Amazon lands.