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New Headquarters for AMZN

I don’t think Bezos’ house makes a difference. He can buy a mansion wherever he wants… or another newspaper for that matter. I think Washington DC is interesting to consider, but I don’t know if the city will be aggressive in submitting a bid. All those government related workers aren’t going to get paid more if Amazon drives up housing prices, so it might cause some political issues.

“The aliens on Mars cloned Hillary Clinton.” - Turd Furgeson

Matt Likes Analysis wrote:

ohai wrote:

Hmm, I think there are a lot of those Canadian graduates at Facebook because of large class size, and because they don’t want to work in Canada for some reason. It’s not that the company prefers to hire these Canadian graduates because they are better than US graduates. If Canadian cities have such appeal, why don’t a higher proportion of top Canadian graduates stay in the country?

Amazon could go to Toronto or Vancouver. I’ve seen these locations being discussed. However, having a Canadian headquarters to service a primarily US market would be inefficient. Only some of those employees will be engineers. The rest will be marketers, business planners, lawyers, and other people who need to be experienced in US business. Canada contributes a small fraction of Amazon’s revenue for now, and is not nearly as important as even some regional US markets.

Plus, it’s going to be hard to convince Harvard or Stanford’s business school class that they should move to Canada. Educated Canadians come here for school and jobs, not the other way around. Even if you can make the case that Canada has good engineering talent, on par with the US, which is doubtful to begin with, it’s harder to make the same argument for graduates across a wide range of business relevant disciplines, particularly when being well versed in US norms is a prerequisite.

Finally, Amazon might be sensitive to the political appearance of sending jobs to a different country. The White House holds trade and international taxes as somewhat high priorities, and Trump has even criticized Amazon specifically. On the other hand, if Amazon were to create thousands of high paying US jobs and rejuvenate a metro area, that would be positive for their public profile in the US.

None of these are deal breakers alone, but they will help discourage Amazon from choosing a Canadian location for their new headquarters, which is supposed to be equal to their main office in Seattle.

good points and public perception could deter amazon. i think that is the only reason why they may not pick toronto but i doubt bezos is big on fleeting public perception.

other questions. why are they building an equal HQ to seattle? to perform the same function? or perhaps they are looking for an HQ to service non-US business, in which case a non-US location would be appropriate.

saying FB doesn’t prefer UW grads because there are lots of UW grads doesn’t make much sense. if UW grads sucked, they wouldn’t work at FB, nor would FB incur additional costs to accomodate UW grads. if they’re awesome, they will work at FB.

Canadian graduates move to the US because there aren’t enough high paying tech jobs in Canada. if you create the high paying tech jobs, they will stay. simple as that. AMZN has a talent problem. locating in toronto solves that talent problem as it is the one place in north america with a talent surplus. toronto is top of the list for solving the talent problem and i think talent is AMZN’s #2 issue with this initiative.

another factor, AMZN ceded its small business marketplace business to Toronto-KW based Shopify a few years ago. this shows that Toronto-KW is a perfect place for AMZN as it houses one of AMZN’s most direct competitors and employers of employees with skills that AMZN requires.  

you will not need to convince many US AMZN employees to immigrate to Canada as the talent pool already exists here. if they are creating an equal HQ then they are hiring mostly new talent.

the #1 issue will be real estate. toronto is top of the list for this as well. not only does toronto have the cheapest commercial real estate of the global cities, it has room. what AMZN is asking for is massive. there are no global cities with a strong talent pipeline near mass transit that can accommodate what AMZN is asking for… except toronto. toronto is an industrial town, like pittsburgh, but unlike pittsburgh it is now a global high finance and high tech hub. as a result, it has talent, it has an international airport and it has acres and acres of beautiful prime commercial real estate just a few minutes walk from union station. toronto’s waterfront has been waiting for a massive investment like AMZN’s for decades. no city except toronto can immediately accommodate tens of thousands of new AMZN employees.

Toronto (Canada) may also be a little more business friendly in terms of employing foreign workers. 

higgmond wrote:

Yayyywork wrote:

General consensus around the deal guys at my CRE firm think its going DC, but still wide open.

DC makes a ton of sense.  3 airports (including BWI); Bezos already has a house mansion there; Bezos also owns the Washington Post, easy access to government officials, loads of well regarded colleges/universities within a reasonable distance, and okay climate.

With the three remaining: Boston, DC, and Denver, i think Boston takes the cake. 

Matt Likes Analysis wrote:

higgmond wrote:

Yayyywork wrote:

General consensus around the deal guys at my CRE firm think its going DC, but still wide open.

DC makes a ton of sense.  3 airports (including BWI); Bezos already has a house mansion there; Bezos also owns the Washington Post, easy access to government officials, loads of well regarded colleges/universities within a reasonable distance, and okay climate.

does DC has enough contiguous room in the core for what AMZN is looking to build?

Not in DC itself, but there’s plenty of space in Maryland right around the beltway.

This space available.

.

It’s whatever, just make it count.

- kDot

whatsyourgovt wrote:

higgmond wrote:

Yayyywork wrote:

General consensus around the deal guys at my CRE firm think its going DC, but still wide open.

DC makes a ton of sense.  3 airports (including BWI); Bezos already has a house mansion there; Bezos also owns the Washington Post, easy access to government officials, loads of well regarded colleges/universities within a reasonable distance, and okay climate.

With the three remaining: Boston, DC, and Denver, i think Boston takes the cake. 

Boston also has a lot going for it and they’ve shown their willingness to throw money at companies to bring them there.  Like DC though, I think you have to go outside city limits for find enough space for what Amazon wants to build.

This space available.

Matt, I know you have a mooseboner for the frozen wasteland, but come on.

1) They are building another location because they need a bigger corporate headquarters. They are one of the largest, most complex companies in the world. If they grow to become twice as big, they just need more staff, more than Seattle can accomodate.

2) No they are not looking to expand into Canada through this headquarters. Canada is not important to Amazon now. Their most important markets outside the US are in Europe, which can be serviced by an East Coast US office. Maybe Japan. There is no benefit from managing these operations from Canada.

3) You know, you have been mentioning “UW”, but I have no idea which university you are referring to. I don’t think this place is as good as you think it is.

4) There is not sufficient Canadian worker talent, like you said. We are talking about the headquarters of one of the most important businesses in the world. They are going to need C-Level talent in all divisions. There are 10x as many of these people in the US than in Canada, and it will be 50x easier to find the next Bezos successor by cultivating talent in the US. As previously mentioned, changing countries is a huge deal, much more so then convincing say, New York executives to move to Philadelphia.

5) As for real estate - there is cheap office space in the US too. Many cities that are submitting bids, let’s say Memphis, TN - are not that expensive. And anyway, tech companies do not scrimp on real estate cost. Talent is far more important. Otherwise, they wouldn’t already be spending lots of money to build huge campuses in some of the most expensive areas of the country.

“The aliens on Mars cloned Hillary Clinton.” - Turd Furgeson

I’m picking Pittsburgh fools and McGill is s better school than this UW crap that mattlikesanal keeps yammering about 

Philly to NYC is an hour and fifteen minutes on the train. There are some prime locations next to the train stations too, so talent should not be an issue. I say this as someone who used to commute to NYC a few days a week from Philly and who now works with a lot of people who do the opposite. This map has some good locations. The Schuylkill Yards option actually looks like AMZN’s Seattle HQ.

https://philly.curbed.com/maps/amazon-hq2-philadelphia-locations

Basically, it will come down to politics.

It’s whatever, just make it count.

- kDot

^ The Navy Yard is really the only location in Philly that could work.

This space available.

higgmond wrote:

^ The Navy Yard is really the only location in Philly that could work.

Care to elaborate?

It’s whatever, just make it count.

- kDot

ohai wrote:

Matt, I know you have a mooseboner for the frozen wasteland, but come on.

1) They are building another location because they need a bigger corporate headquarters. They are one of the largest, most complex companies in the world. If they grow to become twice as big, they just need more staff, more than Seattle can accomodate.

2) No they are not looking to expand into Canada through this headquarters. Canada is not important to Amazon now. Their most important markets outside the US are in Europe, which can be serviced by an East Coast US office. Maybe Japan. There is no benefit from managing these operations from Canada.

3) You know, you have been mentioning “UW”, but I have no idea which university you are referring to. I don’t think this place is as good as you think it is.

4) There is not sufficient Canadian worker talent, like you said. We are talking about the headquarters of one of the most important businesses in the world. They are going to need C-Level talent in all divisions. There are 10x as many of these people in the US than in Canada, and it will be 50x easier to find the next Bezos successor by cultivating talent in the US. As previously mentioned, changing countries is a huge deal, much more so then convincing say, New York executives to move to Philadelphia.

5) As for real estate - there is cheap office space in the US too. Many cities that are submitting bids, let’s say Memphis, TN - are not that expensive. And anyway, tech companies do not scrimp on real estate cost. Talent is far more important. Otherwise, they wouldn’t already be spending lots of money to build huge campuses in some of the most expensive areas of the country.

again. toronto, and canada, have excess talent. that is why the talent is leaving to the US. this is why UW grads are well represented at FB, MSFT, AMZN and AAPL despite being thousands of miles and another country away. we educate more people than our economy needs so we export these people to you. if you bring the jobs to the talent, the talent stays. 

another thing that has gone unnoticed by most is that Canada still has much more attractive corporate tax rates. if trump and repubs can’t get anything done on that front, Canada looks like an obvious choice, as it has for numerous US companies performing corporate tax inversions over the past ten years. plus, if AMZN comes to Canada for its corporate tax rate, seeing as it will employ close to 1% of the Canadian workforce, it’d probably have some political pull and help prevent any future corporate tax hikes in Canada. if bezos wants to be emperor, he’s got a good chance in Canada.

as for office space, there is no comparing toronto to memphis so you just emphasized my point. toronto’s talent is similar to that of NY or Boston and it has commercial real estate prices and open space similar to that of Memphis.

getting some c-suite talent to toronto might be a struggle but it still might be easier than getting them to go to memphis.

this isn’t about loving canada. this is about toronto being the best place to quickly and cheaply employ 50,000 people.

Matt Likes Analysis]</p> <p>[quote=higgmond wrote:

does DC has enough contiguous room in the core for what AMZN is looking to build?

Absolutely, especially if you add in the other areas included in the MSA like Tysons, Reston, Rosslyn and it not having to be located “in” DC. 

'A flute with no holes, is not a flute. And a donut with no hole, is a danish'

bezos is known for being a cheap guy.

I love my cheese. I got to have my cheddar.

also, if you don’t know what the University of Waterloo is you don’t have any sway in a conversation about technology. do you know what the University of Toronto is? that school is pretty good too.

for some cred, AMZN has put UW next to Carnegie Mellon, Johns Hopkins and the University of Southern California for a major AI research initiative.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/kitchener-waterloo/university-waterloo-amazon-ai-artificial-intelligence-1.4008169

FB has put UW next to 16 major US universities for the following initiative. strange that they’d include some obscure school that ohai’s never heard of.

http://betakit.com/facebook-partners-with-university-of-waterloo-to-collaborate-on-tech-research-projects/

btw, amazon already has an 800 person toronto office so i think that puts it ahead of memphis in the running for an hq.

DC could probably do it out in the Dulles area. 

The same reasons that favor DC hurt Toronto.  There’s major anti-trust litigation down the road for AMZN and being in DC may be advantageous when they’re looking to twist some arms.  Certainly more helpful than being in a different country employing exactly zero congressional constituents.  Unfortunately, this may trump all economic reasons. 

LBriscoe wrote:

The same reasons that favor DC hurt Toronto.  There’s major anti-trust litigation down the road for AMZN and being in DC may be advantageous when they’re looking to twist some arms.  Certainly more helpful than being in a different country employing exactly zero congressional constituents.  Unfortunately, this may trump all economic reasons. 

that’s actually not a terrible argument

AbrahamIsaac wrote:

I’m picking Pittsburgh fools 

+1

SUNE BROS

^

welcome back BS. You just gave your identity away. Pittsburgh has gotten to be a pretty nice city though 

brain_wash_your_face wrote:

higgmond wrote:

^ The Navy Yard is really the only location in Philly that could work.

Care to elaborate?

The other locations are too small to realistically accommodate the size of project that Amazon is looking for.

This space available.

AbrahamIsaac wrote:

^

welcome back BS. You just gave your identity away. Pittsburgh has gotten to be a pretty nice city though 

Claim: Fact Check is Black Swan

Verdict: FALSE

https://www.analystforum.com/comment/91788119#comment-91788119

Claim: CMU Top School in Technology

Verdict: True

US News graduate program rank #1 Computer Science + #5 Engineering

https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-science-schools/carnegi...

Claim: Insufficient Airport

Verdict: False

2017 Airport of the Year (Priors: Hong Kong, London & Singapore)

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/jan/26/air-transport-world-name...

Claim: Weak tech pool

Verdict: False

“Because of the top students and research professors at Carnegie Mellon, tech companies like Apple, Facebook, Google (500 employees) and Uber have opened offices here.”  + Amazon fullfillment hub

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/22/style/pittsburgh-tech-makeover.html?m...

hahahahaha every time you fact check that you arent BS your support is a link to another post fact checking that you aren’t BS? Bravo, i went though like 4 clicks before giving up. That is dedication.

'A flute with no holes, is not a flute. And a donut with no hole, is a danish'

^^ No direct flights from Pittsburgh to Seattle though.  

This space available.

AbrahamIsaac wrote:

DC could probably do it out in the Dulles area. 

100%, Tysons & Reston have plenty of space.

'A flute with no holes, is not a flute. And a donut with no hole, is a danish'

higgmond wrote:

^^ No direct flights from Pittsburgh to Seattle though.  

Id imagine that could change quite immediately if Amazon were to even think of moving there.

'A flute with no holes, is not a flute. And a donut with no hole, is a danish'

University of Waterloo (UW) in Waterloo, Ontario is the best school in Canada for engineers. I know friends who then went on to work at FB, Tesla, started their own company in SF.

And yes, it is mostly full of Asians.

Best school “in Canada”. Ok. But when you can put your campus close to Carnegie Mellon and MIT, and be close to other metro areas with thousands of qualified workers, why arbitrarily choose to focus on Canadian graduates? FB and such hire so many engineers anyway that practically all schools are represented somehow. Georgia Tech or University of Illinois are great engineering schools too. There’s a deep talent pool even below the top tier names that people commonly use as examples.

And anyway, as I repeatedly mentioned, not all Amazon workers are engineers. Amazon will need to recruit a large, multi talented and diverse workforce. Most suitable employees of this type are in the US. It will be hard to convince them to move to Canada. What if they move from Denver to Toronto with their family, and the Amazon job doesn’t work out? It would have been great if they stayed in the US where it is more familiar and their job situation would be more flexible.

So let’s take Pittsburg as an example. It will not be that hard to move people from the NY area, or other parts of the country, to Philadelphia. It’s similar in culture, cheaper, probably better standard of living, and the move can be reversed without too much inconvenience. A significant portion of those 50k employees will be existing Amazon employees in the US. They can be incentivized to move to another US city, but probably not to Canada. Who will head the new Amazon office? Probably someone who is currently in the Top 5 people in Seattle. That guy is probably going to lobby for Denver or some place like that, not a whole different country where he will be away from the boss and their geographic business concentration.

I’m sure there are benefits to choosing Toronto, just like any city. However, it just seems like a huge pain in the @ss and no one wants to move there. Low level rank and file people can be found anywhere. However, the top 10% of the company, who will direct the office and who are the most important, are experienced workers, probably located in the US, and are probably not looking to leave the country.

“The aliens on Mars cloned Hillary Clinton.” - Turd Furgeson

Pittsburgh. It’s already being called “silicon alley”

So what if CMU is at Pittsburgh ? It’s not Amazon is gonna make any decisions based on this fact. Logistics, Real Estate and whatnot play a more important role than CMU being near. Most CMU CS graduates were already traveling to NYC and Silicon Valley after they’d graduated anyway  so that’s not a valid point.

Also amazon is not comparable to other technology companies in the sense that it needs more non technology related roles in its office than the other big names. I personally favor D.C though