Amazon Will Not Be Delivering HQ2 to Houston

AMAZON WILL NOT BE DELIVERING HQ2 TO HOUSTON Despite campaigns that included coordinated office light displays and banner flybys over the company’s current headquarters in Seattle, none of the Houston proposals to house Amazon’s new campus made it past the first round. The company announced this morning that 17 U.S. cities plus northern Virginia, Toronto, and Montgomery County, Maryland would be finalists for the new HQ2. Among those that did make the cut: Dallas and Austin. [USA Today; map; previously on Swamplot] Photo of former KBR Building 3: Swamplot inbox

22 Comment

  • Apple will be building their own second U.S. headquarters at a location to be revealed later this year, but I’m not sure if/how they’re soliciting bids.

  • My prognostication is that the finalists will be Atlanta, Dallas, Washington DC Metro, and Denver

  • Congratulations Houston., your overlords have shown enough foresight in not selfishly whoring out your child’s future with gratuitous and ill-placed tax breaks. Now if they could only clean up their own mess with all those handouts from years past and fix the pension issue.
    For those that live in the shortlisted cities, good luck and may god have mercy on your child’s future commute and education.

  • Good. Texas does not deserve it. We still (try) and outlaw gay marriage and want to control a woman’s womb. Thanks religion

  • @HEBisbetterthanKroger – you know Austin and Dallas are part of Texas, right?

  • I don’t know which is sweeter to lose, a corporate bumfight among cities or the Olympics. I am super proud that Houston will be infected with no such “victory”. Good luck, Dallas :)

  • Maybe I’m biased as I like Houston, but I honestly thought Houston would be a really good fit. Seems to tick most boxes.

  • wooah, HEBisbetterthanKroger. Strawman much??

    Austin and Dallas are still on the list.

  • So many cities waiting to be duped into giving massive tax breaks in return for a bunch of $12/hr. jobs. Pleased to see Houston not on the list.

  • We can do better than Amazon, both for those needing a living wage and for a more robust tax base. There are so many other revenue streams than the Amazon.

  • To make amazon’s views on Houston even more apparent – Houston was the only top ten city not included in the shortlist.

    I’m sure they’ll end up being located somewhere close to DC, go figure.

  • Some people can’t see the forest for the trees. Even if the “tax breaks” resulted in a net loss to the city over some timeframe (a big if), there is strategic value in a city winning such a high profile jobs contest such as this.

  • You realize, of course, that Amazon had long ago selected a site before it ever requested bids. This contest is the only way that Amazon can be sure that the preferred, long ago selected, site will be properly shaken down for every last little penny in incentives. Think about it; if you knew Amazon wanted to locate in your city, how hard would you work to guarantee it? But, if you didn’t know and really, really wanted it, then you are going to do everything you can to get Amazon in your town.

  • It is now pretty obvious that it will be Austin. LA, Boston, Chicago, DC area and NY are too expensive. Philly, P-burgh, Columbus, Indy and Newark have no appeal to young tech recruits. Nashville and Raleigh are nice cities, but have no real tech industry infrastructure. Toronto is too Canadian. Miami is too Miami. Denver will get a hard look because everyone under the age of 35 wants to live in Denver. But Austin will win because Amazon already has Whole Foods in Austin and there is a thriving tech sector in Austin. Plus, anyone under the age of 35 who cannot move to Denver wants to move to Austin.

    Houston will never be a major digital tech town. That ship has sailed. And that may not be such a bad thing as there is so much speculative short money in digital tech right now that who knows whether anyone in the San Jose will have a job by 2020.

  • None of these HQ2 jobs were/are going to be $12/hr. jobs – $120/hr is closer to the truth. It should be mentioned that, in fact, all of Amazon’s $12/hr. jobs are – if anything – already over-represented in Houston, and Amazon has already been guaranteed tax breaks for bringing in those “jobs.”

  • Houston is space city. As Spacex gets bigger, more established, I feel it’ll be connected more to here and we’ll get the blessings of it, and think about the hyperloop connection, too.

  • I feel like this was a really bad episode of The Bachelor

  • Jardinero is spot on. Long ago they researched every variable related to local talent and work force quality, average costs of fuel and energy for the area, building codes and restrictions, employment requirements, average cost of living etc….The whole thing is aimed at making the desired location offer up incentives. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the actual real estate is already under preliminary negotiations. How do you think your crap costs less through them? It certainly isn’t because they’re adhering to some utopian construct. Pure economics folks.

  • The pitch included a putting Amazon along the red line between downtown and the TMC right? How in the world would this have worked? 59/69 will be put underground between 288 and 527 soon. I guess if Amazon did come to this area the homeless camp near Sears/Fiesta finally would have left.

  • Like others have chimed in, I’m not crying any tears for not making the cut. Houston will be completely fine without this.
    We survived the 1980s oil bust, Hurricane Ike, the 2014 oil bust, Hurricane Harvey, two other floods, and the great Ice Storm of 2018. We were fine before Amazon; we will be fine after.

  • Amazon has incomprehensibly staggering amounts of data on a great many households in North America (average income for these households being > $112K/yr, the same cohort Amazon HQ workers would be a part of) and after presumably doing some investigating they rejected Houston as soon as they possibly could. Not good. Long story short the Amazon HQ2 RFP states that a “highly educated labor pool is critical” which imo is an example of serious understatement and seems like the type of thing Houston would try to gloss over or explain away.

  • * that “>” should be “~”