Amazon’s second headquarters may not offer the benefits many think.
Back in September, the online retailer announced that it wanted to add a second headquarter location somewhere in the United States and that it would entertain proposals from cities and states.
But Paul Roberts of Politico Magazine wrote Thursday that cities and states might be overestimating the benefits that a second headquarters brings.
“Trust me, I saw my city transform — and not always for the better,” wrote Roberts, who lives in Seattle, where Amazon is based.
He said that Seattle’s unique mix of culture and economics allowed Amazon to thrive in the city. He said replicating that success might be difficult.
For example, Roberts wrote that Seattle already had a workforce full of workers who understood cloud computing, which fits perfectly with Amazon’s hiring needs, but maybe not other cities.
Experts also told Roberts that Seattle is a hot spot for talent, making them more likely to live there and stay there for their career.
“Put another way, it may be that Seattle was actually the best thing that happened to Amazon,” he wrote.
Read Roberts’ entire piece at Politico Magazine.
Utah submitted its bid for the second Amazon headquarters this week, right before the deadline. Experts told the Deseret News that enthusiasts should remain cautious about the potential second headquarters.
Lincoln Nehring, president of Voices for Utah Children, a statewide advocacy group that hopes to build a better Utah for the future, said in a statement that Utah has other needs that Amazon won't meet.
"Utah faces tremendous growth pressures that require billions of dollars in new investment in transportation and water infrastructure to keep up," he said. "The Amazon HQ2 opportunity should prompt us to consider whether we want to choose to increase our already rapid growth even more."
Similarly, Seattle writer Kurt Schlosser wrote in GeekWire that Seattle has seen an increase in its own issues thanks to Amazon's growth, including homelessness and an "affordability crisis."
"Workers who don’t wear tech badges for a living are forced to look outside the city and thus contend with the traffic coming in and out of it, creating a vicious cycle and affordability crisis," Schlosser wrote. "Juxtaposed against the bustling nature of Amazon’s rise in downtown Seattle and nearby South Lake Union is a homelessness epidemic spread beneath highway overpasses, in RVs everywhere and throughout city parks that leads people to blame one for the other."