Detroit a sleeper candidate for Amazon, but not likely in the lead, analyst says – Detroit Free Press
Amazon announced on Thursday that it is planning to open another headquarters called Amazon HQ2 in a currently unknown North American city.
WithÂ bids for Amazon’s secondÂ headquarters due Thursday, national oddsmakers are continuing to give Detroit some downbeat advice:Â Don’t get your hopes up.
Most analysts’ rankings of potential winners of Amazon’s new headquarters place Detroit far down the list of cities likely to win. Amazon, based in Seattle, said its second headquarters will bring up to 50,000 jobs and billions of dollars to the city it chooses, with an announcement expected next year.
A few weeks ago, the New York Times’ Upshot team of data analysts applied Amazon’s several pages of search criteria to 60 U.S. cities and eliminated 59 of them, dubbing Denver the likely winner.
In that analysis, Detroit, along with more than half of the other 60 cities, didn’t even make the first cut, eliminated for not providing what Amazon called aÂ âstable business climate for growth.â
Detroit didn’t fare too well, either, in a ranking by Anderson Economic Group of East Lansing. Detroit ranked in 32nd place out of 35 cities ranked. Cities ranking even lower were Sacramento, Kansas City and San Jose at No. 35.Â
Patrick L. Anderson, the founder of the consulting firm, said this weekÂ that he took much criticism about putting Detroit so low on the list from Quicken Loans founder and chairman Dan Gilbert, who is heading up the 59-member Amazon Detroit Regional Committee.Â
“LeBron James and I have something in common right now. We have been publicly chewed out by Dan Gilbert,” Anderson said.Â
Gilbert, owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, had an unforgettable rant in 2010 when NBAÂ superstar James left the Cavs for the Miami Heat. James once again brought up old wounds and talkedÂ about the incident this week in an article in GQ.
Detroit got the low rankings in his study, Anderson said, because of its lack of mass transit on-site. New York City ranked No. 1, Chicago No. 2 and Los Angeles was No. 3 on the Anderson Economic Group list.Â
Anderson does not believe that Detroit necessarily is out of the running.Â Detroit ranked well in some areas, atÂ No. 9 out of 35Â when it came to the cost of doing business. He noted that Detroit also can stand out in the Amazon pitch with its international border and efforts to include Windsor in the pitch.
Still yet another analysis published byÂ Bloomberg View ordered the top candidates this way: Toronto, Boston, Washington, Atlanta, Dallas, andÂ Denver.
But all these attempts to rank likely winners showÂ how difficult, if not impossible, itÂ is to divine Amazon’s intentions. Denver, the winner in the New York Times analysis, didn’t even make the top 10 in a ranking done by Moody’s Analytics. Moody’s top five candidates in order: Austin, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Rochester, N.Y., and Pittsburgh. Detroit didn’t make the top 10 in that list, either.
Nobody outside the company really knows what’s most important to Amazon boss Jeff Bezos. Does he care more about lower cost of living (which favors Detroit) or about a goodÂ public transit network (in which case Detroit loses)?
Some analysts and oddsmakers, like the author and urban guru Richard Florida, have dubbed Detroit a “sleeper” candidate. While still suffering an image of Rust Belt decline, Detroit offers Amazon a low-cost alternative along with great universities, a modest but growing technology center, and a willingness to deal.
So which city will win? Amazon said it will announce its pick in 2018.
Contact John Gallagher: 313-222-5173 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @jgallagherfreep.
Write a Reply or Comment:
You must be logged in to post a comment.