How Houston Showed Itself to Amazon; West U Under Surveillance; Testing the Ship Channel’s New Mud

Photo of Market Square Park: Marc Longoria via Swamplot Flickr Pool


11 Comment

  • This link is free.

    The whole thing is an, “Aren’t we hip” image pitch. Interesting that they’re showing the proximity to the bayou right after a historic flood. They should’ve added that the property didn’t flood, which I’m assuming it didn’t. But Amazon is a just an online Walmart so image matters to people who buy and work there I suppose. And maybe the whole “we flooded but are strong” theme actually helps with that…and now with the World Series….guess we get points for that too.
    Now if the City bends over frontwards with tax breaks……who knows.

  • The Moody’s Analytics ranking of cities’ prospects for the Amazon HQ2 put Rochester, NY at the #4 slot…despite that it barely made the population cutoff, has a fairly crappy economy and business environment, NY taxes, barely any mass transit, a tiny airport, and for quality of life…lake effect snow. That pretty much encompasses how I feel about Moody’s. But not for lazy journalism, it wouldn’t be relevant at all.

  • Really good promotional video for Houston in general. Must have been part of the deal to be one of the Houston proposed sites.

  • At the very least, we have no idea how Amazon weights its metrics, nor do we know if there are any hidden metrics they’d also be using to make their decision.

  • Houston’s got no chance since there’s no big university full of politically programmed grads to work there..can’t have free thinking awake smart people who would start questioning Bezo’s practices..would be real bad for his busineses especially when the backlash against them starts big time.

  • One of Amazon’s metrics may concern tax dollars. The WSJ reports Chicago’s offer has $2b + in numerous breaks: politicians from all over Illinois are boosting it. Other cities may be offering such gigadollar blandishements. Houston’s bid is decidedly nongovernmental, and appears innocent of tax breaks. So cute.

  • The best story from the Amazon HQ hunt is how San Antonio told Amazon to forget about it because they weren’t going to get involved in a municipal incentive bidding war with every other city in the US. I wonder whether the winner will pledge so much free goodies that the net benefit and burden of adding tens of thousands of residents will be negative. For a relatively smaller metro area in the 1-3 mil population range, adding tens of thousands of workers and a massive corporate campus will put a significant strain on public safety, schools, public transport and traffic infrastructure. Add to that promises to expand airports, extend public transport lines and give away tons in tax abatement and you may have a perfect recipe for a municipal budget hangover.

  • At the risk of feeding a troll, J. Dirt doesn’t know jack, either about universities in Houston or about what universities contribute to the American workforce and economy.

  • Tax breaks, quality of life, access to a skilled workforce…there were a few others. The tax thing should appeal to the shareholders, but the other stuff I suppose would appeal to Amazon employees, present and future. Boston is smart about this; they said they’ll reveal their tax incentive package only after they’re sure their city made it to the next round. Even if Houston doesn’t make it this time, Amazon has a lot of different divisions (doing a lot of different things) in specific spots across the country, and I believe Houston will have the opportunity to make a play for one of these smaller offices as the company continues its expansion. It’s still nice to see how Amazon thinks, even if they made up their minds ahead of time and are just playing all of the cities for desperate lackeys. Maybe sitting this one out, as San Antonio is doing, is the right idea.

  • I also think *what* they put in the HQ2 will depend on the location. It seems like the ultra-high-tech stuff fits in well in Seattle. And maybe tech support would benefit from a place with a lower COL. But in between there are quite a few positions that could go either way. In Houston’s case, it wouldn’t pay off to give massive tax breaks for what would probably just end up being a data entry and call center campus.

  • Lol at Austin ranked way above Houston for transportation. Has that person ever even been to Austin? It has one of the worst highway systems in the country