Amazon’s estimation of the local benefits of its Seattle HQ (HQ1)
233,000 annual hotel nights by visiting “Amazonians and guests” (2016 figure).
$43 million “paid into the city’s public transportation system as employees’ transportation benefit”.
24 restaurants/cafes within the HQ and eight other services.
$25.7 billion “compensation to employees”.
Estimated 53,000 indirectly created jobs as a result of Amazon investment.
$38 billion of indirect investment as result of Amazon investment.
$17 billion “increase in personal income by non-Amazon employees as a result of Amazon’s direct investments”.
Increase from 7 (2010) to 31 (2017) Fortune 500 companies with engineering/R&D centres in Seattle.
Amazon HQ2 location criteria
In inviting bids for HQ2, Amazon expressed a “preference” for:
“Metropolitan areas with more than one million people”.
“A stable and business-friendly environment”.
“Urban or suburban locations with the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent”.
“Communities that think big and creatively when considering locations and real estate options”.
In addition, the “ideal site” was described as:
No more than 30 miles to a major “population centre”.
Within approximately 45 minutes of an international airport.
No more than two miles from major highways and arterial roads.
Having access to “mass transit” (“rail, train, subway/metro, bus routes”)
Amazon also provided a list of “key preferences and decision drivers” for their prospective location, including:
“A stable and business-friendly environment and tax structure”.
“Incentive programs available for the Project at the state/province and local levels… (i.e. land, site preparation, tax credits/exemptions, relocation grants, workforce grants, utility incentives/grants, permitting, and fee reductions)… the initial cost and ongoing cost of doing business are critical decision drivers”.
Access to “a significant population centre” with “a highly educated labour pool… and a strong university system”.
Infrastructure connectivity for both people and goods, and direct connecting flights to Seattle, New York, San Francisco/Bay Area and Washington, D.C.
A rapid timetable for development permits and zoning laws.
A “cultural community fit”, consisting of “the presence and support of a diverse population”, supportive local government and high-quality higher education institutions.
An overall high quality of life offering – “we want to invest in a community where our employees will enjoy living”.