Memphis misses the cut for Amazon’s HQ2, but Nashville a finalist
NEW YORK — Amazon has released a “short” list of cities it is considering for its second headquarters, and Nashville is among the finalists.
But the list isn’t exactly short. The 20 potential cities include Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Columbus, Ohio, Dallas, Denver, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, Montgomery County in Maryland, Newark, New York City, Northern Virginia, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, Toronto and Washington D.C.
Memphis did not make the short list, nor did other suburbs like Collierville that applied.
“We came together and gave it our best shot. The good news is that this exercise showed us new ways to showcase our city that we are already using to attract other businesses,” Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said in a statement. “Memphis has momentum and other companies have seen and will continue to see our value.”
Nashville Mayor Megan Barry also released a statement: “We are excited to have made Amazon’s top 20 list for a second headquarters. Over the coming weeks and months, we look forward to working more closely with @amazon to show them why Music City would be the perfect fit for their company.”
Last year, Amazon received bids from 238 cities and regions from across 54 states, provinces, districts and territories across North America. The company said it would make a decision in 2018.
Amazon said it evaluated each of the bids based on the criteria it previously outlined, such as proximity to a major airport and ability to attract tech talent.
In the coming months, the company said it will work with each of the locations to “dive deeper” into their proposals, obtain more information and evaluate how the city could accommodate Amazon’s hiring plans and benefit its workers and the local community.
Called HQ2, the new facility will cost at least $5 billion to construct and operate, and will create as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs.
Cities made splashy attempts to attract the company’s attention. For example, Tuscon, Arizona sent a giant cactus to CEO Jeff Bezos and Stonecrest, Georgia offered to de-annex some of its land and rename it the city of Amazon.
Meanwhile, Kansas City Mayor Sly James gave five-star reviews to 1,000 random items on Amazon’s website, which tied in the city’s strengths into each post.
Amazon has said the second headquarters would be a “full equal” to its Seattle campus. The tech giant estimates its investments in Seattle from 2010 through 2016 resulted in an extra $38 billion to the city’s economy.