Report: Amazon HQ2 incentives moot, Columbus in A1 location

The talk of the town has been about the second Amazon HQ and which of the 20 finalist cities has the best incentives to lure the company in. But that all may be moot according to one chief economist.

K.C. Conway of CCIM is an advisor of the Federal Reserve, FDIC, FHLB, among other impressive achievements on his resume. He was called upon to write a commercial real estate insight report regarding the location for HQ2, reports Columbus Business First.

“A close reading of the RFP reveals that the search seems less about incentives and more about workforce solutions and corporate culture fit,” Conway wrote.

This is good news for Columbus as we’re up against bigger cities like LA and Dallas who have potential to outshine Columbus when it comes to incentives.

Instead, Conway sees location in relation to the “Golden Triangle” as key to being selected for HQ2. What is this “Golden Triangle” we speak of and does it have anything to do with the Bermuda Triangle, you ask? Well, the Golden Triangle is the part of the country from Lake Erie to Texas to northeast Florida that “produces approximately 50 percent of the U.S. annual GDP and an abundance of the skilled workforce that technology, e-commerce, and logistics companies are in desperate need to recruit.”

Conway predicts the city selected for the second Amazon HQ will be within the triangle.

And no, there’s no connection to the Bermuda Triangle.

As you can see from the illustration above, Columbus lies within the Golden Triangle parameters.

“[Columbus is] the epicenter for the National Center for Middle Market companies – the small- to mid-size businesses that Amazon so covets and which account for 35 percent to 40 percent of U.S. GDP and job growth,” wrote Conway. “Plus, Ohio State University pioneered today’s graduate programs in logistics.”

Even beyond HQ2, Conway sees Columbus, Atlanta, and Pittsburgh as being the top three contenders for “corporate site selection” in the coming years.

To read more about what this guy had to say, click here.


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