Amazon put North America’s major cities into competition for its second headquarters Thursday with the surprise announcement that the tech giant was taking offers for a second home.
The company said it’s aiming for a metropolitan area of at least 1 million residents — opening up, theoretically, a few dozen cities in the U.S., from New York to Tucson, and a handful more in Canada. It’s unclear whether Amazon would consider a bid from a Mexican city.
The company also mentioned proximity to good universities and a pool of well-educated employees, particularly software engineers, to draw from.
Here are a few candidates observers have highlighted, along with statistics about each city from Zillow and apartmentlist.com. For comparison, in Seattle the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $ 1,380 and the median home value is $ 690,300.
Austin’s up-and-coming technology startup scene and liberal-leaning, laid back vibe has drawn comparisons to Seattle. The cost of living is relatively low and, like Washington state, Texas doesn’t have an income tax. South by Southwest’s tech conference now brings tens of thousands of investors and tech professionals to Austin every year, and the city already boasts the headquarters of Dell.
Amazon also has a couple of natural ties to the city. Whole Foods, the company’s new stake in the grocery market, is based in Austin. Texas is also where Bezos spent part of his childhood and has family roots; the western tip of the state is home to the billionaire’s more than 150,000 acres.
Unemployment (Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos): 3.2 percent
Median home value: $ 323,900
Median rent (one-bedroom apartment): $ 1,140
Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel has talked with Bezos “several times” about bringing Amazon jobs to the city, a spokesperson told the Chicago Tribune. Emanuel has lured McDonald’s, Kraft Heinz, Motorola and many other big names into the city. In 2001, Chicago won Boeing…
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