The recent announcement of Amazon’s plans to build a second headquarters outside of Seattle, has multiple cities vying for the newest location. According to an article featured in Business Insider, the city chosen, ultimately stands to benefit from a “massive economic gain.” Amazon is looking to large cities and has many speculating “Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia, and Atlanta could be the strongest contenders.”
The presence of Amazon in Seattle has brought mammoth economic developments over the years and quickly turned Seattle into the “country’s largest company town.” Plans to create 50,000 new positions could help significantly decrease unemployment rates for the next large city chosen. But the massive economic boom expected with the arrival of Amazon, does not come without drawbacks as Business Insider points out.
The new headquarters has the potential to “fundamentally change how the selected city ends up functioning.” As seen in Seattle, the new city has the risk of housing costs rising as well as traffic and commute times increasing significantly. Economists are reviewing Seattle’s rapid changes over the past two decades, due to Amazon’s growth, in order to assess how this new headquarters has the potential to affect the chosen city. Business Insider warns the building of a new location carries the risk of “gentrification push out low-income earners and mom-and-pop stores.”
The main takeaway
The arrival of Amazon is set to bring a new wealth and growth to whichever city the end up choosing. But as the article mentions, “city officials have a responsibility to ensure the lower- and middle-class workers won’t get priced out, and displaced, by such economic booms.”