Ever since Amazon announced they would be establishing a dual headwaters, a virtual cottage industry of predictions and analyses has developed. Everyone has an opinion on what metro will be selected. Here are my thoughts on the subject:
My heart would love to see Detroit selected, as it would solidify its turnaround in the nation’s mind. Those of us living here in Michigan know the good news coming from Motown, but this would be the icing on the cake nationally. An interesting aspect is the cross-border cooperation between Detroit and Windsor on the bid. Throw in Ann Arbor just 40 miles away and you have a formidable candidate.
I think Amazon is looking for a location that is largely unaffected by changing climate or natural disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, and the like. This criteria greatly benefits inland metros.
Standard of living and cost of living will also be important. The housing factor eliminates many cities on the east and west coasts.
Multimodal transportation is also important – probably Detroit’s and a lot of other Midwestern cites’ weakest competitive link. Meanwhile, in most cases, Midwestern cities haven’t sprawled exponentially like those in the South and West.
Given the various criteria cited by Amazon, in the media, and listed above, my short list of twelve (12) finalists includes the following cities with my projected winner highlighted in bold.
- Austin-San Antonio, TX
- Charlotte, NC, SC
- Columbus, OH
- Dallas-Fort Worth, TX
- Denver-Boulder-Fort Collins, CO
- Detroit-Windsor-Ann Arbor, MI, ON
- Indianapolis, IN
- Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN, WI
- Nashville, TN, KY
- Pittsburgh, PA, WV
- Toronto-Hamilton-Kitchener, ON
- Washington, DC, MD, VA, WV
While my heart will root for Detroit, my planner’s mind believes that the Twin Cities will win for the following reasons:
- Great standard of living.
- Open, welcoming, inclusive community.
- Top notch schools.
- Great multimodal transportation system.
- Excellent airport and air service.
- Centrally located near the middle of the continent.
- Reasonable cost of living and affordable housing.
- Year round athletic, recreational, and cultural activities.
- Limited disruptions from natural disasters.
- Strong, home-grown business community with lots of corporate leadership and philanthropy.
What are your thoughts on this subject and on my prediction?