Amazon HQ2 hits its one-year mark without a conclusion | A…
Friday marks exactly one year of introspection for Dallas, 18 other American cities and Toronto in their pursuit of Amazon’s now-famous second headquarters.
In the last 365 days, debates over the wisdom of forgoing future tax revenue to lure a leading technology company and the fastest-growing retailer in America became a cottage industry and even added to the lexicon.
Terms such as “prosperity bomb” reflected concerns that a rush for Amazon’s promised 50,000 high-paying jobs would cause a housing crunch and displace residents. “Transparency” and “nondisclosure agreements” became big buzzwords in arguments for and against economic development incentives.
And HQ2 — an abbreviation that Amazon coined last September — now comes up 3.3 million times in a Google search.
Saturday Night Live even parlayed the frenzy into a hilarious skit with CEO Jeff Bezos listening to pitches from Boston, Atlanta, Newark and Miami. John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight did a show on economic development inspired by HQ2, and it’s been viewed on YouTube more than 6.1 million times.
After narrowing its search to 20 cities in January, Amazon went quiet.
“We have nothing new to comment on,” Amazon spokesman Adam Sedo said in an emailed response Thursday. “We are committed to making a decision before the end of the year.”
The Dallas Regional Chamber, which is shepherding the local HQ2 bid, also had no comment on the anniversary’s passing.
Not since Boeing pitted Dallas, Denver and Chicago against one another in 2001 has a corporate relocation search been so visible, said Mike Arend, editor of Site Selection, amagazine that reports on the business of corporate attraction. “It’s unusual to see a project of this size be so public,” he said. “Some cities are wondering if they could even handle a project half this size. But they had to put their hat in the ring.”