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Amazon HQ2 could be huge boost to city that lands it
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The projections for Amazon’s second headquarters called HQ2 are staggering.

The proposed facility will be a $5 billion capital investment, according to Amazon, and create 50,000 new tech-oriented jobs.

Nashville has made the short list of 20 cities announced Thursday as finalists for HQ2. That’s trimmed from 238 cities which began the process.

It will be transformative for whichever city lands Amazon’s new facility. Based on the impact of its headquarters in Seattle from 2010 and 2016, Amazon says HQ2 will add $38 billion to the local economy, create 53,000 non-Amazon jobs, and increase the income of non-Amazon employees by $17 billion.
Impressive.

So what are Nashville’s chances of emerging as the winner and landing HQ2? Probably not good.

Atlanta has been billed as one of the early frontrunners, which could still have somewhat of a residual effect for Middle Tennessee. Atlanta looks promising because the city has offered more than $1 billion in financial incentives and has a 120-acre downtown, construction-ready site called The Gulch.

Other frontrunners include America’s big boys, the populous cities of Boston, Chicago, Dallas and New York.
Boston has the educated workforce Amazon craves with Harvard and MIT. Chicago has reportedly offered $2 billion in incentives to help take the bite off its frigid winters.

New York City touts itself as a place where 2.3 million residents have at least a bachelor’s degree. But Amazon would hardly stand out as a shining light in this city filled with Fortune 500 companies.

Key selling points listed for Nashville are the city’s booming economy and its emergence as a top-shelf tourism destination, complete with legendary music scene. Tennessee also prides itself on not having a personal income tax and has shown it has the resources to be a major automotive hub.

One drawback is Nashville’s inadequate public transportation system. Mass transit is one of the criteria Amazon founder Jeff Bezos stressed as extremely important when looking for cities to locate HQ2.

Cities listed among the 20 finalists that don’t appear likely to land HQ2 include Toronto, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, N.C., and Newark, N.J.

Other top 20 finalists are Austin, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; Denver, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, Montgomery County, Md., Northern Virginia, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.

Amazon has said it will announce the winning site this year.