Amazon’s looking for a city to build a second headquarters – a $5 billion investment that would ultimately employ an eye-popping 50,000 workers.
Austin’s got a lot to offer – and has made several lists of likely contenders.
The Austin Chamber of Commerce told the American-Statesman last week that leaders here would “compete hard” to come out on top.
Our city fared pretty well in a New York Times assessment of cities with the best odds of landing Amazon – except in one crucial category.
We have strong job growth, a stellar labor pool and quality of life is off the charts. Plus, Amazon’s newly acquired Whole Foods Market is based here.
So what could it be? What’s our downfall? Austin’s perfect, right? Well … except for the traffic. And the lack of mass transit options.
Austin’s “weak transit and bad congestion,” the Times says, could put us out of the running. With bus routes that skip large chunks of the city and only a single light rail line that carries just 3,000 passengers a day, we fall behind – way behind – some other frontrunners. Think places such as Boston and Washington, D.C., for example.
And let’s not forget our airport doesn’t have as many nonstop flights as some business travelers would like. Amazon, the Times says, wants its second headquarters to have “easy access to an international airport.”
So close, Austin. So close.
So where is Amazon most likely to go, if the Times is to be believed? Denver. We’ll find out if they’re right early next year.
In the meantime, enjoy that hellacious drive home on (evil) MoPac tonight.
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