On the Bright Side, Miami may still have a chance at being Amazon's next HQ!!

Miami Herald:
Miami’s a finalist for Amazon’s second headquarters. Does it have a chance of winning?

BY DOUGLAS HANKS

  • Miami is a finalist in Amazon's search for it's second HQ
  • Will we make it?
  • What do you all think?

Amazon narrowed its list of potential cities for a second headquarters on Thursday, and Miami made the cut.
The online retail giant received 238 applications for what may be the most competitive corporate recruitment effort in history as the company promises to generate about $5 billion in the city it chooses to build a second headquarters employing about 50,000 people. The narrowed 20-city list announced by the Seattle-based company includes major metropolitan areas from across the country, starting with Atlanta and ending with Washington, D.C. In the alphabetical roster of “HQ2” finalists, Miami is listed between Los Angeles and Montgomery County, Maryland, a prosperous D.C. suburb.

Miami is the only Florida city to make the cut, and it bested other cities known as corporate hubs. Houston didn’t make the Amazon cut. Neither did Sacramento, California, or Baltimore, Maryland, or Charlotte, North Carolina. The New York Times writer who covers the Amazon beat called Miami’s selection “unexpected,” and one organizer involved in the Miami bid said: “I’m shocked we made it.”
Though dubbed a “Miami” bid, the application was submitted by economic-development arms of Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties. The details largely remain a secret, with Miami-Dade declining to make the application public beyond an Oct. 12, 2017, letter from Mayor Carlos Gimenez describing the Miami area as the “Tech Center of the Americas.”




The bid offers five undisclosed sites from Miami-Dade, two from Broward and one from Palm Beach, said Michael Finney, director of the Beacon Council, Miami-Dade’s economic-development agency. Officials familiar with the application said there was more than one site in downtown Miami and one in Doral.

“Miami is a city of the future,” Gimenez said in a press conference. “God willing, Miami will be the second headquarters of Amazon here in the United States.”
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos spent part of his childhood in the Miami area, and was valedictorian of his graduating class at Palmetto High in 1982. Now he has the chance of becoming the top corporate player in Miami, where Amazon would become the largest employer in the region (ahead of the current leader: Miami-Dade’s school system, with about 33,000 employees).
Gimenez said he expects county officials to meet with Amazon executives during the next round of screenings. He pointed to the area’s concentrations of colleges and universities as an underrated plus for the region’s bid. “We’re one of the Top 10 college towns in the United States,” he said. “People who live here may not realize that, but we are.”
But Gimenez also said Miami’s “brain drain” problem is a top drawback — the tendency of talented young people and recent graduates to leave South Florida for regions with better-paying jobs.
“The biggest challenge, I think, is the talent. I think that would be the biggest challenge that we have to overcome here, versus some other cities that have a rich talent base. Boston, etc.,” he said. “We have advantages over some of those. Boston, taxes, the weather, etc. It’s going to be an interesting balancing act.”
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