GRLaker

Amazon looking for a city to put HQ2

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3 minutes ago, GRLaker said:

http://money.cnn.com/2017/09/07/technology/amazon-second-headquarters/index.html

Amazon said it would prefer to open the headquarters in a suburban or urban area with more than 1 million people. It's looking for a community that "thinks big."

Go get them, The Right Place. 

I thought about this as soon as I heard about it, but honestly I see this being something Detroit would have a HUGE shot at. Microsoft has new offices opening downtown D and there is a ton of momentum around office space development and recruitment  downtown on behalf of Bedrock. Obviously I'd love GR to land something big but I'm equally happening seeing Detroit come into its own. Speaking of which, get over there and check it out if you get the chance; it's overwhelming how much is going on downtown! 

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One of my first thoughts was the issue of direct flights.   I suppose that could be easily remedied by adding non stop service to Seattle.  GRR needs some direct flights to the west coast.

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28 minutes ago, GVSUChris said:

I thought about this as soon as I heard about it, but honestly I see this being something Detroit would have a HUGE shot at. Microsoft has new offices opening downtown D and there is a ton of momentum around office space development and recruitment  downtown on behalf of Bedrock. Obviously I'd love GR to land something big but I'm equally happening seeing Detroit come into its own. Speaking of which, get over there and check it out if you get the chance; it's overwhelming how much is going on downtown! 

I thought the same thing, but then it dawned on me....What is the one thing we have that Detroit doesn't? Switch - which I believe is Amazon's server. There might be something to be said for having your HQ and your server headquartered in the same town. The Right Place should be going all-in on this. Bring in the non-competing CEOs and big name families of some of the biggest employers in the area. Bring in college presidents to sell the quality of education in this area. Throw the house at them.

Edited by GRLaker
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Would love to see it come here. About as much chance of that as one of our actual big companies locating their HQ to the city though.

But the city HAS to try. GR is spooky similar to Seattle in a lot of ways, just really scaled down. I honestly felt like it was just a larger, more developed version of home when I was there. It would be incredible to win this one! Heck, can we start a letter writing campaign?

Pretty meh about it going to Detroit though. I dont have these warm feelings for the place. Detroit didnt give a toss about GR when they were on top,  So I've never developed this "we are all in this together" (because Michigan) vibe.

Edited by GR_Urbanist

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13 minutes ago, GR_Urbanist said:

Would love to see it come here. About as much chance of that as one of our actual big companies locating their HQ to the city though.

But the city HAS to try. GR is spooky similar to Seattle in a lot of ways, just really scaled down. I honestly felt like it was just a larger, more developed version of home when I was there. It would be incredible to win this one! Heck, can we start a letter writing campaign?

Pretty meh about it going to Detroit though. I dont have these warm feelings for the place. Detroit didnt give a toss about GR when they were on top,  So I've never developed this "we are all in this together" (because Michigan) vibe.

Agreed. Anytime something positive was written about GR in an MLive or Bridge article, Detroit natives tore into us. They have absolutely no love for Grand Rapids. I enjoy some of the Detroit suburbs and root for Detroit teams, but that's about where it ends for me. I see Grand Rapids Metro as the future of the state as long as it doesn't get in its own way by thinking too small. Continue thinking big and the growth will continue.

With that said, I do recognize that Detroit is improving. Like Chris said, they brought in Microsoft and LinkedIn is also setting up a shop there. I just think GR's upside is much higher. It has a long way to go to match it in size, but it can become the main economic engine of the state.

Edited by GRLaker

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14 minutes ago, mpchicago said:

One of my first thoughts was the issue of direct flights.   I suppose that could be easily remedied by adding non stop service to Seattle.  GRR needs some direct flights to the west coast.

I heard a rumor from my cousin that lives in Seattle that Frontier is going to offer a direct flight from Seattle to GR in the next year or two.  Take it with a large grain of salt because she doesn't have an insider in Frontier leaking this information but something to think about.

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2 minutes ago, GRJohn said:

I heard a rumor from my cousin that lives in Seattle that Frontier is going to offer a direct flight from Seattle to GR in the next year or two.  Take it with a large grain of salt because she doesn't have an insider in Frontier leaking this information but something to think about.

Frontier just announced a new direct flight to Fort Myers. I wouldn't be surprised to see other cities get added to the mix now that Florida is pretty much covered.

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I would think that our tight housing market would be a concern for them—but the vitality that has caused the tight market could be a draw.

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56 minutes ago, organsnyder said:

I would think that our tight housing market would be a concern for them—but the vitality that has caused the tight market could be a draw.

That definitely might be a concern for them, but it also shows that people are moving here in droves (and they may not struggle with getting upper management to move here).  The big issue might be that we don't have a lot of upper management type homes available in that $600,000 - $1,000,000 price range like a metro of 2 million might have. 

But either Detroit or Grand Rapids, I don't think they'd build this project in a downtown. Very few tech companies have skyscraper presences, they're all sprawled out in massive suburban campuses with parks, trails, etc..  I think it has a lot to do with the feeling that there is no "hierarchy" and that the company is horizontally integrated. :)

And if Amazon wants this project to rival its Seattle HQ, that's 8 million square feet, which would probably be a 10 year+ build-out like Switch is doing.  That would be about 15 high-rises at 500,000 sf each to go where?  I can see this going out in the rural areas between Zeeland and Grand Rapids, having its own exit off of I-196.  Not very sexy but where else would something this large go? 

edit: I did see that Amazon has its current HQ's in downtown Seattle.

But if they are serious about looking at metros in the 1 million range, there are not a lot places as good as it gets here, with the amenities, cost of living and recreational opportunities we have. 

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I hope that Right Place and Grand Rapids will really make a run at this.   The cited impact will drive some very steep competition though.   

"The benefits to the city that wins the bid are big. Amazon estimates that between 2010 through 2016, its expansions in Seattle have brought $38 billion to the city’s economy, or for each $1 that Amazon invested, the city of Seattle generated $1.40."

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The competition among cities to get this will be unprecedented.  This is much bigger than Foxconn and a Tesla gigafactory combined.  

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28 minutes ago, GRDadof3 said:

But if they are serious about looking at metros in the 1 million range, there are not a lot places as good as it gets here, with the amenities, cost of living and recreational opportunities we have. 

We have this massive inland sea we humbly call a lake that lacks hurricanes, tsunamis, and salt! Easy access to Chicago and Detroit, without the cost of living (by air, we are almost dead center between those two, as well as Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Cleveland,  Madison, and Toronto). Dozens of smaller communities along the shoreline that have thousands of acres for new housing that can be built long before the first Amazon employee clocks in.  A university that Amazon can invest in that isn't pretentious. So many nature (no volcanoes or earthquakes) and cultural activities.

 

This place is the closest you will get to virgin territory that isn't in the middle of nowhere.

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Maybe we get thousands of people to start tagging @JeffBezos  on Twitter and Instagram relating to every cool thing we do in our daily lives around West Michigan?? :)  #GramazonRapids? 

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4 minutes ago, Onekama said:

Maybe we get thousands of people to start tagging @JeffBezos  on Twitter and Instagram relating to every cool thing we do in our daily lives around West Michigan?? :)  #GramazonRapids? 

Hopefully they do an online poll. We're great at those.

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Heck, the city should just give them the 201 Market property.  Maybe get the Charley's Crab/Parking area to sell as well.   Adjacent breweries/restaurants/nightlife/universities/entertainment/freeway.   Show them the Whitewater plans.  I think that spot would be the only one with a chance at this...  Meeting the transit needs, plus the "cool" area factor to retain talent. 

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I would think the Byron Center area would be perfect. It's close to Switch, it's a fast growing suburb, it has plenty of land to build on, is close to U of M Health/Metro Health, and hotels are popping up in the Byron Center-Cutlerville area like crazy.

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Two of their requirements are direct access to mass-transit, and to be no more than 1-2 miles from a highway.

That's going to narrow locations considerably. Likely against anything outside of the ITP zone, unless a special route is created, because we have no rail options.

Edited by GR_Urbanist

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2 minutes ago, Onekama said:

Heck, the city should just give them the 201 Market property.  Maybe get the Charley's Crab/Parking area to sell as well.   Adjacent breweries/restaurants/nightlife/universities/entertainment/freeway.   Show them the Whitewater plans.  I think that spot would be the only one with a chance at this...  Meeting the transit needs, plus the "cool" area factor to retain talent. 

Why not the 5/3 campus area? It's right next to (soon to be revamped) Calder Plaza and the convention center, two blocks from I-196 and one block from the river and the (soon to be revamped) Lyon plaza area. 

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3 hours ago, organsnyder said:

I would think that our tight housing market would be a concern for them—but the vitality that has caused the tight market could be a draw.

I would imagine that the magnitude of something like this landing here would grab the attention of the major home builders that to this point have been shy of the area.   If it were known in a few years time that housing demand would spike even more I can see the Pulte's of the world redirect resources back to Grand Rapids,  housing stock would start to catch up.

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19 minutes ago, mielsonwheels said:

Why not the 5/3 campus area? It's right next to (soon to be revamped) Calder Plaza and the convention center, two blocks from I-196 and one block from the river and the (soon to be revamped) Lyon plaza area. 

8 Million square feet? Wouldn't that be a 1000 story building on that site? :)

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49 minutes ago, GRDadof3 said:

8 Million square feet? Wouldn't that be a 1000 story building on that site? :)

Ahh... I missed that whole part about the 8 million square feet. A 1000 story building you say? I'd like to see a sketch up of that in the GR skyline. 

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