It’s safe to say that whichever city Amazon decides to house its second headquarters will see an economic and population boost similar to Silicon Valley in the 90s, and the midwest during the Industrial Revolution.  The $5 billion headquarter investment is set to create a new city of talented young middle class workers that will see huge opportunities for the surrounding small businesses.  While taking a look at the many lists for potential winners (including an interesting GPA style ranking by CNBC HERE), only two cities stand out in all of them.

Atlanta and Austin (sorry everyone else).

Whether one of these two cities end up as the choice remain to be seen, but for now at least, these are the estimated top choices.  And they make sense.  Atlanta is the center of the south and not far from any major southern city from Nashville to Miami, to New Orleans.  Meanwhile, Austin is a liberal Texas city that supports massive amounts of small businesses and is near the Mexican border (or at least closer in comparison to other potential sites).  Austin will have to work through being in a state where an anti-LGBT bathroom bill is seemingly near passing, but if it can halt this, it makes sense for it to be at the top.

Other cities garnering some inclusion are Boston, Chicago, and the Raleigh / Charlotte, NC area.  More solid choices, but again nothing has been decided.  And this is only from lists I’ve seen.  There are reportedly over 200 cities that have submitted proposals for the new headquarters, and all are hoping to win it.  Whoever does get the headquarters, you can be sure Amazon will be the real winner in this.

Some of the things Amazon claims to be looking at closely in its decision include:

  • Site/building: At least 500,000 square feet and total site space of up to 8 million sq ft.
  • Capital and operating costs: Estimated to be about $5 billion
  • Incentives
  • Labor force:  Looking to hire 50,000 people. “Amazon also wants information on computer-science programs in the local and regional K-12 education system”
  • Cultural community fit:  Defined as one with “a diverse population, strong higher-education system, and local government that is “eager and willing to work with the company.””

Amazon recently released its final 20 cities in its decision for a second HQ with the list primarily featuring cities in the south and east coast.  Take a look and tell us what you think.

  1. Atlanta, GA;
  2. Austin, TX;
  3. Boston, MA;
  4. Chicago, IL;
  5. Columbus, OH;
  6. Dallas, TX;
  7. Denver, CO;
  8. Indianapolis, IN;
  9. Los Angeles, CA;
  10. Miami, FL;
  11. Montgomery County, MD;
  12. Nashville, TN;
  13. Newark, NJ;
  14. New York City, NY;
  15. Northern Virginia, VA;
  16. Philadelphia, PA;
  17. Pittsburgh, PA;
  18. Raleigh, NC;
  19. Toronto ON;
  20. Washington D.C.

For more information on Amazon requirements, check out
Everything Amazon wants for HQ2, the massive new headquarters it’s planning in North America