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Amazon looking to open second HQ office. Does YYC have a chance?

Silence&Motion

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Calgary's desperately trying to diversify its economy so that we're not beholden to a handful of powerful corporations. Had Amazon decided to locate here, we'd end up beholden to a single powerful corporation. In that sense, I'm happy they took a pass (though being on the shortlist would have gotten Calgary several glowing articles in the international press). I'm happy that many of the cities on the list are large and powerful enough not to feel compelled to offer Amazon anything (e.g. Toronto, NYC, etc.).

I suspect that Toronto's only on the list to keep up appearances that they'll potentially go outside the USA. That would be such a huge decision, they would have already made it prior to this city-level competition (even if the competition is real).
 

Always_Biking

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Amazon decided to weight available workforce highest, which lent itself to higher population areas. I think Columbus was the lowest population metro on the list, at 1.9 ish million, with a lot more within what might call the job shed - how far many are willing to move, maybe within 100 miles — that I've just made up.

Calgary is small by comparison.
The whole Amazon thing has a difference buzz in the larger cities. I've spent some recent time in Dallas and Houston as well as LA. It's been mentioned in the news in Dallas and Houston, but not much fanfare, especially for Dallas who is on the shortlist. I thought there would be more buzz. And L.A.? I don't know if they even know this is happening lol.

I bet places like Columbus and Raleigh are a lot more keyed into this.
 

Always_Biking

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Yeah, I think it's better in the long run. Calgary also doesn't need another boom to inflate the price of everything. The Amazon distribution centre in Balzac is a decent enough get.
Calgary's desperately trying to diversify its economy so that we're not beholden to a handful of powerful corporations. Had Amazon decided to locate here, we'd end up beholden to a single powerful corporation. In that sense, I'm happy they took a pass (though being on the shortlist would have gotten Calgary several glowing articles in the international press). I'm happy that many of the cities on the list are large and powerful enough not to feel compelled to offer Amazon anything (e.g. Toronto, NYC, etc.).

I suspect that Toronto's only on the list to keep up appearances that they'll potentially go outside the USA. That would be such a huge decision, they would have already made it prior to this city-level competition (even if the competition is real).
 

Oddball

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There definitely would have been negatives to Calgary being chose as the host for Amazon's HQ2, but I have to think that those would have been outweighed by the positives. As much as we want to rationalise it, it sucks that we missed out on this opportunity. All I can say is: Oh well. At least the economy is performing better in other ways and we don't need a saviour Amazonian or otherwise to swoop in and save us.
 

Habanero

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I would have been excited if we were chosen, but it's easy to rationalize not being chosen. If Amazon did indeed build up 50K in jobs our economy would be reliant on them - too reliant to count on one company's fortunes. Too bad Amazon wasn't looking to building a couple of smaller tertiary offices (jobs ~ 2000-3000) That would be a good get.
 

UrbanWarrior

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Well their distribution centre will employ nearly a thousand, so that's pretty good.
 

Zoom

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This is very true. I actually kind of glad Calgary is out of the running. It's a massive proposition that would be a case of putting all of our eggs in one basket. Amazon is successful right now, but the future of Amazon is still something that could change overnight depending on various factors.

One of the rumblings I've heard is that various regions (municipalities, states, etc..) are looking at the idea of taxing Amazon to recover taxes lost by the local brick and mortar businesses that are losing out to Amazon. If this happens, and I think it will at some point, Amazon's whole business model will change. There are also other on line retailers coming on board to deal with. Amazon will still be a force, but they won't be the exploding business many are expecting.

Another issue with the Amazon deal is optics of favoritism to one business. The city needs to do whatever they can for all business, but it has to be the same across the board. The city is much better off attracting multiple smaller and medium sized businesses.

Calgary's desperately trying to diversify its economy so that we're not beholden to a handful of powerful corporations. Had Amazon decided to locate here, we'd end up beholden to a single powerful corporation. In that sense, I'm happy they took a pass (though being on the shortlist would have gotten Calgary several glowing articles in the international press). I'm happy that many of the cities on the list are large and powerful enough not to feel compelled to offer Amazon anything (e.g. Toronto, NYC, etc.).

I suspect that Toronto's only on the list to keep up appearances that they'll potentially go outside the USA. That would be such a huge decision, they would have already made it prior to this city-level competition (even if the competition is real).
 

Silence&Motion

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Interesting postmortem of the Amazon HQ2 hullabaloo: https://vancouversun.com/technology/behind-amazons-hq2-fiasco-jeff-bezos-was-jealous-of-elon-musk/wcm/d84df6d3-9831-4a67-bc2d-b23373382c2b?utm_term=Autofeed&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter#Echobox=1580764238

TL;DR: The whole thing was a scam cooked up by Bezos because he was envious of the subsidy that Elon Musk got for building a battery factory in Nevada.

In hindsight, it's actually pretty embarrassing that Calgary devoted any resources at all to this sham. Hopefully the labour and money that was put into it served the broader purpose of publicizing Calgary in the tech world more generally.

It really never made sense to me how Amazon's headquarters would actually benefit a city that is equipped to handle it. So what if 10,000 elite tech workers move to NYC (or Toronto, or Washington, or Boston) to fill those jobs? Is NYC lacking for elite, professional class jobs? Is adding thousands of more high-paid Amazon employees to the city going to do anything other than drive up rent for everyone else?

Calgary's situation is far preferable in my mind: livable city, relatively cheap housing and short commute times, a major research-oriented university and multiple research-oriented hospitals, lots and lots of cheap office space, an international airport. This is the perfect place for smaller tech firms to get their start.
 

Always_Biking

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Interesting postmortem of the Amazon HQ2 hullabaloo: https://vancouversun.com/technology/behind-amazons-hq2-fiasco-jeff-bezos-was-jealous-of-elon-musk/wcm/d84df6d3-9831-4a67-bc2d-b23373382c2b?utm_term=Autofeed&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter#Echobox=1580764238

TL;DR: The whole thing was a scam cooked up by Bezos because he was envious of the subsidy that Elon Musk got for building a battery factory in Nevada.

In hindsight, it's actually pretty embarrassing that Calgary devoted any resources at all to this sham. Hopefully the labour and money that was put into it served the broader purpose of publicizing Calgary in the tech world more generally.

It really never made sense to me how Amazon's headquarters would actually benefit a city that is equipped to handle it. So what if 10,000 elite tech workers move to NYC (or Toronto, or Washington, or Boston) to fill those jobs? Is NYC lacking for elite, professional class jobs? Is adding thousands of more high-paid Amazon employees to the city going to do anything other than drive up rent for everyone else?

Calgary's situation is far preferable in my mind: livable city, relatively cheap housing and short commute times, a major research-oriented university and multiple research-oriented hospitals, lots and lots of cheap office space, an international airport. This is the perfect place for smaller tech firms to get their start.
Well said.
 

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