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Competition for Amazon's New HQ

On the 19th of October proposals are due to Amazon from communities that are interested in being the home to Amazon’s second HQ, which would bring 50,000 new jobs paying an average of $100,000 and a capital investment of $5 billion. This process is very interesting because the company sought proposals directly from communities and the detail provided within the RFP.

The identified project and location decision drivers include many of the ‘typical’ aspects including a site/building suitable for operations, low operating costs, government financial incentives and good transport links, but there are other factors as well. The RFP highlights the requirement for a highly educated workforce and proximity to research and educational centres, which is not so surprising as we know that access to workforce has been increasing in its importance as a site selection factor.

Quality of life is another decision driver listed and it is listed as a key decision driver, not an ancillary consideration. Amazon says they want to invest into a community where their employees enjoy living, which links back to the workforce they desire and where this workforce would ideally like to live. In this instance, local quality of life and infrastructure that appeals to future Amazon workers has become a key decision driver. Equally, the company also lists cultural community fit as another decision criteria, clearly stating that they are seeking an area where all local institutions (i.e. government, universities, service providers, etc.) work together collaboratively and ‘think big’.

These are two ‘new’ decision factors. Both quality of life and community fit have always been considered, but never did they command the same level of importance as costs and logistics.

Is your community interested in recruiting and supporting high-tech firms such as Amazon? Please get in touch (, 1-800-940-990) if you want to discuss how you can best prepare and support these businesses.

If you would like a copy of the Amazon RFP, please email us at

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