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Amazon HQ2

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https://www.amazon.com/gp/browse.html/?node=17044620011&ref=tsm_1_fb_s_amzn_1063440688&linkId=41914261

While this is probably a long shot for Richmond. I wonder if they are trying to get a West Coast and East Coast presence.

My guess is they would look somewhere with a larger airport hub and larger workforce to pull from. I wouldn't be surprised to see Atlanta and maybe Boston as an East a Coast finalist. 

I suspect that Virginia will put in a big push.  I think NOVA has a good shot.  Richmond and Hampton Roads / VA Beach might be long shots.

All that said, there had been a rumor that Amazon has interest in buying Capital One for a few years now.  Logistically I don't think it could be approved but there are rumors of at least a partnership possible.

That could be a connection to Richmond / VA.

 

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If they were to build their second HQ here I have to wonder if they would build a campus out by Capital One and Carmax or be the company that finally builds a 40 story building downtown. 

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I was typing this elsewhere so I am moving it here:

 

 

Does anyone think we will throw our name in the hat for the new Amazon HQ2?

 

It's obviously a stretch but after reading the RFP there are not a whole lot of things that hurt us....here are some concerns:

 

  • Travel time to an international airport with daily direct flights to Seattle, New York, San Francisco/Bay Area, and
  • Washington, D.C. is also an important consideration.
  • Direct access to rail, train, subway/metro, bus routes - at site
  • Communities that think big

Would be nice to have already tackled projects like the ballpark and coliseum.   50,000 jobs w/ $100k+ income....those folks want nice entertainment options.  We have a lot of unique options to offer, obviously...but this will be downright competitive as hell.

 

RFP:

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/G/01/Anything/test/images/usa/RFP_3._V516043504_.pdf

 

 

 

 

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The RFP does say to consider different areas around a certain state/region. Sounds like they could be interested in multiple locations. With that in mind and NOVA/Richmond combo isn't out of the question. Regardless I hope the state pursues this, Virginia has a lot of potential for the tech industry. Plus Amazon has a lot of presence in the Richmond area warehouse wise. 

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If they weren't interested in hearing from smaller metro areas, they would not have put the threshold at 1million.  I guess the state will have to decide (if they pursue and I cant believe our Gov will skip this) which of the three million+ VA metros plus NoVa it will use...or what combo. 

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Would this have anything to do with the push I've seen lately to ready the Matoaca Mega Site in Chesterfield?

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1 hour ago, eandslee said:

Would this have anything to do with the push I've seen lately to ready the Matoaca Mega Site in Chesterfield?

I don't believe so. The Matoaca site is zoned for industry and is targeted for an auto or other high tech  manufacturer.

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Ok pro con time! (sorry for the long list)

Pro:

Good access to the interstate and major rail lines (hopefully more rail soon)

Good access to universities, with a few in the city itself and several others a short drive away.

A good population of millennials and more moving here every day.

RVA has plenty of room and plenty of blocks already prepped/close to prepped for office construction

RVA has the density most other southern cities don't

RVA is building the Pulse, this should prompt the region to invest more into it even if we don't land Amazon

RVA will be right down the road from the new transatlantic cables coming through VA beach.

Amazon already has a decent presence in VA, with distribution centers around Richmond and an office in NoVa.

Access to the Port of Richmond, and further quick access to the ports in Hampton Roads.

Low cost of living.

And lastly but I think importantly, (they should try to sell it this way), Richmond does not have a signature tower, Richmond is not known nationally for any particular company, Richmond has very good bones as a city; Amazon could literally make this city in their image. There is enough undeveloped lots, a good grid system, overall good infrastructure, the bones are here, Amazon could build this city into the city that they desire very easily.

 

Con Time!

Our airport. No direct flights to Seattle, however that would change overnight if they move here.

Bad press, the whole nazi's in VA thing......

Finances, we are apparently flagged in the new state reporting systems for cities in possible financial distress.

Schools, did someone yell about schools yet?

I literally cannot think of any others? Help me out guys, there have got to me more cons.

Another note, kind of a con, there might be a lot of push to get Amazon and there might be an equal amount of push not to get Amazon. The cost of living in RVA would change over night, a 1500 buck apartment would jump to 3k a month over night. I'm not so sure the other companies in RVA would want that, they would have to keep pace with cost of living adjustments or get out of town, so I wouldn't be surprised if the likes of Dominion, Altria etc.. lobby the city not to pursue this.

 

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13 hours ago, drayrichmond said:

Ok pro con time! (sorry for the long list)

Pro:

Good access to the interstate and major rail lines (hopefully more rail soon)

Good access to universities, with a few in the city itself and several others a short drive away.

A good population of millennials and more moving here every day.

RVA has plenty of room and plenty of blocks already prepped/close to prepped for office construction

RVA has the density most other southern cities don't

RVA is building the Pulse, this should prompt the region to invest more into it even if we don't land Amazon

RVA will be right down the road from the new transatlantic cables coming through VA beach.

Amazon already has a decent presence in VA, with distribution centers around Richmond and an office in NoVa.

Access to the Port of Richmond, and further quick access to the ports in Hampton Roads.

Low cost of living.

And lastly but I think importantly, (they should try to sell it this way), Richmond does not have a signature tower, Richmond is not known nationally for any particular company, Richmond has very good bones as a city; Amazon could literally make this city in their image. There is enough undeveloped lots, a good grid system, overall good infrastructure, the bones are here, Amazon could build this city into the city that they desire very easily.

 

Con Time!

Our airport. No direct flights to Seattle, however that would change overnight if they move here.

Bad press, the whole nazi's in VA thing......

Finances, we are apparently flagged in the new state reporting systems for cities in possible financial distress.

Schools, did someone yell about schools yet?

I literally cannot think of any others? Help me out guys, there have got to me more cons.

Another note, kind of a con, there might be a lot of push to get Amazon and there might be an equal amount of push not to get Amazon. The cost of living in RVA would change over night, a 1500 buck apartment would jump to 3k a month over night. I'm not so sure the other companies in RVA would want that, they would have to keep pace with cost of living adjustments or get out of town, so I wouldn't be surprised if the likes of Dominion, Altria etc.. lobby the city not to pursue this.

 

 

 

Schools - you have to look at the metro area schools, not just the urban inner city schools.  Many or most cities have issues with inner-urban public schools because of the result of white flight/concentrated poverty that cripples budgets and domino's to everything else in the systems.  This is not just a Richmond problem.   I don't have data but I believe the metro area has plenty of good school systems and a variety of private options.

I believe a big pro is everything that has exploded here in RVA over the past 10 years - the culture and recreation stuff:  food and brewery scene, the River and all the glorious trails and activity right here in a City...the arts...These are all big things for a Seattle based tech company.

 

*****On top of the warehouses built and being built, the most significant presence of Amazon data centers for Amazon Web Services is in Northern VA....more than any other state in the country.  Between their warehouses and data centers, Amazon does a very significant amount of business with VA.  They are very familiar with the cogs that make things work for their businesses:  the government and the power company!

 

Commute/traffic/congestion is also mentioned.  We should show up quite well there.

It seems to give good consideration to a "campus" or "park" setting as well as downtown urban....

It sucks that our confederate history is no longer just history that we learn from and study...but now an enormous political issue.  Oh well.

 

Good article here on the extent of Amazon's data center presence in VA:

 

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2016/01/amazon-web-services-data-center/423147/

 

 

 

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So I'm sure you guys have seen this already, but it looks like the Mayor of VA Beach has spilled some beans, which is not a good start to the process; you know how hush-hush these types of things need to be.

http://www.richmond.com/news/local/central-virginia/virginia-to-make-big-play-for-amazon-hq-but-quietly/article_ebe3aeb0-7eca-510f-bb60-fba8cc95e96c.html

Also, the more and more I think about this, the more I hope that if VA gets this, it lands in NOVA. If you look at some of the reasons companies have moved to RVA recently (CoStar, AvePoint, and ICMA-RC) one of the big points is the price. If amazon moves an HQ to NOVA we could see a lot more satellite offices and moves to RVA, as a cost saving measure, from other companies.

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An interesting development in Amazon's search for an East Coast home - according  to the Governor, Amazon specifically told the Governor to have both Richmond and the HR area to submit a bid, despite not having a large mass transit network.  We're not sure whether or not this specific request helps or hurts these two metro areas, but it's interesting that Richmond and HR would definitely be considered as qualified bidders despite not having everything Amazon is looking for.  I think that Jeff Bezos will review any and all bids reguardless of qualification (I'm sure every city on the East Coast will submit).   Who knows, maybe Amazon will pick a smaller metro area. Oct 19 is the deadline to submit. I hope Richmond submits a REALLY strong bid!  Here's hoping we get it, but I won't be surprised if we don't.  We'll see.

http://www.richmond.com/news/virginia/government-politics/mcauliffe-amazon-wants-richmond-to-bid-on-hq-even-without/article_8ba5fdf3-571b-5c28-84ab-df8a6d6b461f.html

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1 hour ago, eandslee said:

An interesting development in Amazon's search for an East Coast home - according  to the Governor, Amazon specifically told the Governor to have both Richmond and the HR area to submit a bid, despite not having a large mass transit network.  We're not sure whether or not this specific request helps or hurts these two metro areas, but it's interesting that Richmond and HR would definitely be considered as qualified bidders despite not having everything Amazon is looking for.  I think that Jeff Bezos will review any and all bids reguardless of qualification (I'm sure every city on the East Coast will submit).   Who knows, maybe Amazon will pick a smaller metro area. Oct 19 is the deadline to submit. I hope Richmond submits a REALLY strong bid!  Here's hoping we get it, but I won't be surprised if we don't.  We'll see.

http://www.richmond.com/news/virginia/government-politics/mcauliffe-amazon-wants-richmond-to-bid-on-hq-even-without/article_8ba5fdf3-571b-5c28-84ab-df8a6d6b461f.html

Whether RVA gets this or not, the amount of work going on in and around this city is unprecedented and is looking very good.  I've done the 95 south drive from Ashland area to downtown expressway, just before the James River Bridge , the last 2 days and the amount of work, changes, infill and progress is amazing.  I've often said to myself, I never thought in my life I'd see this much activity in Richmond but here it is and whether Amazon comes here or not RVA is very different and I don't see it going back to the quiet sleepy  little town it once was where I just assumed developments  and growth were for other places. 

Edited by hikendesign
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On 9/27/2017 at 12:41 PM, eandslee said:

An interesting development in Amazon's search for an East Coast home - according  to the Governor, Amazon specifically told the Governor to have both Richmond and the HR area to submit a bid, despite not having a large mass transit network.  We're not sure whether or not this specific request helps or hurts these two metro areas, but it's interesting that Richmond and HR would definitely be considered as qualified bidders despite not having everything Amazon is looking for.  I think that Jeff Bezos will review any and all bids reguardless of qualification (I'm sure every city on the East Coast will submit).   Who knows, maybe Amazon will pick a smaller metro area. Oct 19 is the deadline to submit. I hope Richmond submits a REALLY strong bid!  Here's hoping we get it, but I won't be surprised if we don't.  We'll see.

http://www.richmond.com/news/virginia/government-politics/mcauliffe-amazon-wants-richmond-to-bid-on-hq-even-without/article_8ba5fdf3-571b-5c28-84ab-df8a6d6b461f.html

 

I am not sure how anyone took the list of favorable attributes to be requirements.  I swear EVERY article I have read on this issue comes from the position of the winning bid MUST HAVE all the attributes mentioned.   The RFP was written very carefully to say (don't have it handy and its been a while) something along the lines of "these are things that are helpful"...not "your city must have these things..."

 

I am not holding my breath but there is a reason the team of A+ attorneys and AMZ executives that wrote the RFP settled on 1 million metro population.  Think about that...I have even read someone suggest they didn't realize a city that small couldn't meet all the "criteria"....Amazon knows what it is doing.   Maybe they want to seriously consider being a big fish in a small pond? 

 

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54 minutes ago, meegwell said:

 

I am not sure how anyone took the list of favorable attributes to be requirements.  I swear EVERY article I have read on this issue comes from the position of the winning bid MUST HAVE all the attributes mentioned.   The RFP was written very carefully to say (don't have it handy and its been a while) something along the lines of "these are things that are helpful"...not "your city must have these things..."

 

I am not holding my breath but there is a reason the team of A+ attorneys and AMZ executives that wrote the RFP settled on 1 million metro population.  Think about that...I have even read someone suggest they didn't realize a city that small couldn't meet all the "criteria"....Amazon knows what it is doing.   Maybe they want to seriously consider being a big fish in a small pond? 

 

I like your line of thinking. 

Is anyone else nervous by some of the concerns I've read about  a company the size of Amazon moving into an area, such as housings costs go up, roads get busier, etc.  Is that accurate , how long does it take for something like that to occur and would it really have that effect?

Edited by Hike
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26 minutes ago, Hike said:

I like your line of thinking. 

Is anyone else nervous by some of the concerns I've read about  a company the size of Amazon moving into an area, such as housings costs go up, roads get busier, etc.  Is that accurate , how long does it take for something like that to occur and would it really have that effect?

I think people are just scared about nothing.  Prices may go up some, but they will go up anyway as long as Richmond is a desirable place to live...and who wouldn't want that?!

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On 9/29/2017 at 4:02 PM, eandslee said:

I think people are just scared about nothing.  Prices may go up some, but they will go up anyway as long as Richmond is a desirable place to live...and who wouldn't want that?!

I actually have my concerns. Mostly because I think that the local market (that is all markets that will be affected by this) will over react. I do believe property values will go up and especially rents, and I wouldn't be surprised to even see grocery and other services to go up. The biggest problem is I think they will go up without the actual population to sustain it. This 50,000 number won't happen for a long time but I think markets are going to behave like we will have that many people immediately. I truthfully would rather see it go up in NOVA. I think Richmond will continue to benefit from the growth of that area.

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A nice piece from Virginia Business about NOVA and Richmond's chances of landing Amazon's HQ2.  There was mention of VA Beach, but was not the focus.  I'm not too enthusiastic about some of the possible locations within the Richmond area (didn't mention a downtown location).  Anyway, a fun read:

http://www.virginiabusiness.com/all-headlines/article/virginias-bid-for-amazons-second-headquarters

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An update has come out regarding the proposed locations in the Richmond area for the Amazon HQ2 and they are very different from the ones mentioned in the above Virginia Business article. They are:

- Tree Hill Farm, a 500-acre property along Route 5 in eastern Henrico, near Interstates 295 and 895, that had been proposed for a mixed-used community before the recession hit;

- North Boulevard, with more than 60 acres of city-owned land that includes The Diamond baseball stadium and direct access to Interstate 95 I near its confluence with Interstate 64; and

- The 160-acre property formerly proposed for Galleria Mall snuggled between Powhite Parkway, Chippenham Parkway and Jahnke Road at Chesterfield's border with South Richmond in what was historically known as Granite.

Other interesting quotes:

"I think our chances are very good," said Hanover County Supervisor Angela Kelly-Wiecek, chairwoman of the board of directors at the Greater Richmond Partnership, which is coordinating the regional push.

 "We are going to put a very strong proposal together as a region and I'm confident it will be well-received."

Some of the company's stated preferences seem an unlikely fit outside of Northern Virginia, such as a location with access to mass transit and within a 45-minute drive to an international airport with direct daily flights to Seattle, New York and San Francisco.  [Ouch!  But I think those direct flights would come easily if Amazon chooses Richmond]

By comparison, the NOVA sites are:

The state-owned Center for Innovative Technology straddling the Fairfax and Loudoun county line, Potomac Yard along the Potomac River in Alexandria, as well as two Arlington County properties in Roslyn and Crystal City.

And in the HR area, the sites are:

Town Center of Virginia Beach, Harbour View in Suffolk on the border with Portsmouth, and Fort Monroe in Hampton.

We'll see what happens...perhaps neither of these sites will be chosen, but it sure is fun and interesting to speculate!!

The article is here:

http://www.richmond.com/news/local/central-virginia/virginia-to-pitch-three-sites-in-richmond-area-in-race/article_9bc9a48c-06d8-51e7-9b9a-2d45f3dc5782.html

Edited by eandslee
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Dear Amazon,  please take a look at this view, your private setting,  a city view that's all yours , here it is, your new home - why not?  

 

 

59dea1beb0708.image.jpg

Edited by Hike
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40 minutes ago, Hike said:

59dea1beb0708.image.jpg

That is probably my favorite location out of the three...and I gotta admit - what a view!  Will it be enough to lure in Amazon?

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My hope is for the boulevard location.  Imagine what that could do for the city proper. 

I like the bucolic nature of eastern Henrico and, while Amazon's presence would obviously be a positive, it could seriously alter the character of that corridor.  It is a great view though.  However, I would rather get Amazon to move to Tree Hill Farm then to another city.

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Of the three the Boulevard location would be my preference. Tree Hill Farm is beautiful and could be better utilized, plus a lot of infrastructure improvements would be needed of which the Bottom may not be able to handle.

I am annoyed that a location such as that west of Dominion HQ  was not proposed (three mostly undeveloped blocks owned entirely between two entities) which would better fit Amazon's requirements and compliment their Seattle HQ.

Amazon RVA Downtown.JPG

Edited by Icetera
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5 minutes ago, Icetera said:

Of the three the Boulevard location would be my preference. Tree Hill Farm is beautiful and could be better utilized, plus a lot of infrastructure improvements would be needed of which the Bottom may not be able to handle.

I am annoyed that a location such as that west of Dominion HQ  was not proposed (three mostly undeveloped blocks owned entirely between two entities) which would better fit Amazon's requirements and compliment their Seattle HQ.

Amazon RVA Downtown.JPG

I thought about that area as soon as Amazon announced this. Their current headquarters are downtown, not in a suburban office area and part of me feels like they want to stay like that. The western part of downtown would be prime for them to just take over while still being part of the core part of the city, not tucked away outside of the city.

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So according to Co-stars CEO, Richmond actually has a shot at landing this. Who knows. I would guess that if someone who knows Bezos personally and is the CEO of a company that specializes in real estate analytics, their word would mean something. While it would throw the housing market into a frenzy, this would bring so many benefits and could be a real feather in Richmonds cap on a business standpoint. Personally, I am torn between Tree Hill and the Boulevard property as Tree Hill could help with development in the east end and would lead to more transportation options for a part of the region that is very underdeveloped compared to right across the river. As for the boulevard, it is right near the Pulse, has the possibility for a high speed rail station and is in a more urban environment. Either site would be perfect for Amazon as they both have infrastructure that could handle a lot of amazons traffic or could be improved to do so. Very exciting times! 

http://www.richmond.com/business/local/richmond-has-shot-at-landing-amazon-s-headquarters-costar-ceo/article_27744e3d-059c-5d2d-8ed8-d256af70ee55.html

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If Amazon comes, I think transportation will follow it.

If it comes to Tree Hill, we'll extend the Pulse to it.  

Any option would be good for RVA, but I think the Tree Hill one would be best for the longterm since it would move the center of population density closer to downtown.  Urban development will just spring up around it.

On the other hand, the boulevard location is much more exciting.

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