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Timoric    649

Wouldn't it be awesome if Amazon chooses Houston for its new second city location with 50,000 employees and $5B investment that WSJ just flashed on my iPhone?

 

Wouldn't it suck if they chose Dallas (:. 

 

Seems like there would be a chance it would be Texas and to me, highly likely Dallas could win it but wish Houston could.

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H-Town Man    1854
4 hours ago, Timoric said:

Wouldn't it be awesome if Amazon chooses Houston for its new second city location with 50,000 employees and $5B investment that WSJ just flashed on my iPhone?

 

Wouldn't it suck if they chose Dallas (:. 

 

Seems like there would be a chance it would be Texas and to me, highly likely Dallas could win it but wish Houston could.

 

We don't have much of an existing talent pool for something like Amazon, but the decision will probably be more political and image-based than anything, given that it is the tech industry. Getting flooded and all the national attention for our diversity has helped Houston's image more than anything since the Apollo missions, so here's hoping.

 

Yeah, it did occur to me that if one of our in-state rivals gets it, that would be a setback for us. Austin being the birthplace of Whole Foods is an obvious draw.

 

Edited by H-Town Man
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Houston19514    2120
4 hours ago, H-Town Man said:

 

We don't have much of an existing talent pool for something like Amazon, but the decision will probably be more political and image-based than anything, given that it is the tech industry. Getting flooded and all the national attention for our diversity has helped Houston's image more than anything since the Apollo missions, so here's hoping.

 

Yeah, it did occur to me that if one of our in-state rivals gets it, that would be a setback for us. Austin being the birthplace of Whole Foods is an obvious draw.

 

 

My first thought was the same... that we may fall short (or at least be perceived to fall short) in the tech talent pool.   But today's Amazon is much more than a pure high-tech operation.  They have huge transportation & logistics, inventory, supply chain, networks, engineering, and construction operations and needs, all areas in which Houston is strong.

 

We need to go strong for this.  I'm thinking maybe the former Exxon tower and surrounding blocks.

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H-Town Man    1854

Apparently they already have a regional office in Dallas, and Dallas is on a hitting streak for corporate back-office locations (what I think this essentially is, despite the "second HQ" branding) to rival Dimaggio. The fact that Jeff Bezos spent part of his childhood in Houston could be a wildcard.

 

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strickn    122

Mods may need to peel off this subthread into a new thread for HQ2.   But, with the degree of prior need in our city for infrastructure improvements, gearing infrastructure for other "nice to haves" like HQ2 is probably a real non-starter unless a direct "Olympics-style case" can be made for how the two projects are intertwined.  Anyway, Seattle is overdue for tectonic slippage, and it's highly likely they're low-key not really looking to build their headquarters redundancy in a place that's vulnerable to anything with devastation longer-lasting than a blizzard.

Edited by strickn

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HOUTEX    7

Amazon is looking for a site for their second campus. Criteria are >100 acres, cities with diverse populations greater than 1M, high quality universities and highly educated populace, business friendly political climate and access to international airports within 45 minutes. 

 

Check, check, check and check. 

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/07/technology/amazon-headquarters-north-america.html

 

Would be awesome for this part of town. 

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HOUTEX    7

True enough.

 

Any one of the above East End streetcar routes could be essentially funded entirely out of Amazon allowances for worker transit benefits. They paid something like $43M into Seattles public transit system in worker benefits. 

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cspwal    1784

They should just build a 102 story building downtown; there's the light rail downtown, which would check off their mass transit need

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Subdude    1279
1 hour ago, H-Town Man said:

I would support putting the relevant comments into a new "Amazon HQ2" thread. Mods?

 

Done. 

 

Wouldn't Austin be as likely a candidate as Dallas or Houston?  Large tech workforce, and it is already the headquarters of Whole Foods, now owned by Amazon.

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H-Town Man    1854
4 minutes ago, Subdude said:

Done. 

 

Wouldn't Austin be as likely a candidate as Dallas or Houston?  Large tech workforce, and it is already the headquarters of Whole Foods, now owned by Amazon.

 

Absolutely, perhaps much more so. The hope for Houston or Dallas is based on the theory that they want something very non-Seattle, i.e. low-cost, easy to expand, and nothing to fear from an activist city government, as they are apparently dealing with in Seattle.

 

https://www.geekwire.com/2017/never-late-say-sorry-seattle-leaders-respond-amazon-plans-establish-second-hq-outside-hometown/

 

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H-Town Man    1854

We are going to have some trouble with lists like this. Of course 28% of 7 million is quite a lot, but the percentage matters in overall perception of a culture. I think we have climbed to 31% by 2015; not sure if that is the result of an overall rising tide of education in the U.S. (in which case we won't have gained anything on our rivals) or workers brought in during the oil boom.

 

The 33% mark would be a nice psychological barrier to get past. Too bad we chased off a big data center investment from UT.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/05/31/us/education-in-metro-areas.html

Edited by H-Town Man

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The KBR site is adjacent to a couple bus routes:

 

http://www.ridemetro.org/MetroPDFs/Schedules/SystemMaps/unused/METRO-System-Map.pdf

 

I believe it would have some utilities, but would not be "pad ready" as per the RFP.  However, it meets the preference for a 100 acre plus greenfield nearby existing structures with 500,000 square feet of office (I think the current BoA building has that space).  A city proposal to produce a viable bikepath connector to the site would be more attractive.  How'd this site fare with Harvey? 

 

 

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Houston is not listed as one of the cities about their interest (the first of many places expected to consider submitting proposals). Maybe someone familiar with the Council District B Member, JERRY DAVIS and the mayor could inform them of the potential.

Edited by WakeUpHouston
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IronTiger    707

Given the flooding and subsequent logistics issues, I think that might scare Amazon away. I'd rather see them an hour and a half away from Houston in a growing college-centered town in need of higher-paying jobs and better opportunities. *coughs conspicuously*

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My two cents:

 

Houston is a strong contender. It's the most similar city to Seattle that can also offer lower business costs. Both are sea-port cities, Both are aerospace cities, Both have an urban core, heck, they both get a lot of rain.

 

Possible cons:

Tech talent available in Houston. We don't have as much compared to Austin or Boston for example. But we can argue it in our favor too.

Yes Austin or Boston may have more tech talent, but that also means they are easily poachable by Dell in Austin or GE in Boston. This is a problem Amazon currently faces in Seattle with Microsoft.

Also, Amazon as just a tech company is not true anymore. They are really a conglomerate and want to get into pretty much everything. One rumor is that Amazon wants to massively increase their healthcare business. Houston would be a great location for that.

 

Another Con is Houston's national Image:

Houston has an image problem. The recent floods complicate the marketing challenge. But again, we can argue it the other way too. Yes, there were bad floods but look how we all came together to assist one another. 

 

Should the city finance a proposal and incentive package?

Absolutely. This could be a once in a generation opportunity for Houston. An opportunity to diversify and grow an new market in Houston for our future is very rare. 

 

Which part of Houston is best for HQ2? I would think Downtown. Our downtown is a great commuter bus hub to bring in workers everyday. There's plenty of available office space and space to build new construction. You could also make a case for Midtown, but access to public to transportation is not that good in midtown, same goes foe EaDo.

 

What do ya'll think?  

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ArtNsf    128
26 minutes ago, WakeUpHouston said:


Houston is not listed as one of the cities about their interest (the first of many places expected to consider submitting proposals). Maybe someone familiar with the Council District B Member, JERRY DAVIS and the mayor could inform them of the potential.

I just noticed the same thing.  once again, the MSM likes to use the whole "dallas" propaganda to influence them to choose that city versus a much lower cost, friendlier, progressive and forward thinking truly American and Texas DIVERSE city like Houston or even Austin.  But, as far as Texas goes, HOUSTON would win hands down with all we have to offer Amazon !

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Ross    613

Would 800 Bell be big enough? It's ready for gutting, and is one of the 5 largest buildings Downtown. Although, I suspect Amazon is looking for a non-highrise solution where they can build open space with high ceilings and lots of flexibility.

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In close reading the RFP, it indicates "a strong university system is required."  Rice is top notch and UH is solid, but I wonder what kind of numbers will be needed. Will regional schools such as A&M and UT count for those purposes?

 

Turning to practical concerns as to the site, I've thought about 800 Bell as well. There are some undeveloped parcels nearby that could be developed into a campus.  There are additional sites in Midtown that might be used down the light rail to provide enough space for a full 8 million square foot campus of sorts.

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Tumbleweed_Tx    1220

I was at a bar across the street from this site last Sunday. There was no flooding in the area- the main part of the site sits high above the bayou.

The New Potato. It's like the only thing out there, looks like a rural bar with a semi-close view of downtown

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pablog    84

I emailed the mayor to tell him that this would be huge for Houston. I don't think he will listen to me, but if all of us tell him, maybe he will listen!

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Houston19514    2120

They want 500,000 square feet to start.  800 Bell is plenty big for that -- the refurbished 800 Bell is slated to have 1.4 Million square feet.  The contiguous empty and near-empty blocks surrounding 800 Bell are plenty of land on which to develop an additional 6.6 million square feet of space without going all that tall and keeping some of the existing buildings (which may appeal to Amazon).  

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I'm just thinking outside the box, but what about GRB as a location? 

Could the city lease the space to Amazon? Would the city want to? What would the city lose? I guess conventions, but they could temporarily be relocated to Reliant, and if deal is profitable then the city could just build a newer better convention hall in the future. 

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