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Amazon Second HQ

muller877

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https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/07/technology/amazon-headquarters-north-america.html?mcubz=0

Amazon is looking at building a second NA headquarters (HQ2). They like hip areas and towers (not the sprawling campuses in the 'burbs). If Toronto wants to be serious to acquire 50,000 jobs the Unilever sight may be ideal. They would have to commit to a bunch of funding (guarantee on transit build plus free property taxes for 10-20 years). But it could cement KW/Toronto as just under Silicon Valley for tech companies.

There are a lot of good things helping out Toronto. But are we willing to shell out as much money as other cities?

Other than the Unilever sight where else could Amazon locate? ideas?
 

bgobgo

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^^ Not sure this is the best forum to talk about such things but I'll bite. Toronto would have a better chance to land HQ2 if it was a satellite office because Toronto would not have difficulty recruiting skilled labor for these jobs from the general population. The problem is with the line that says that executives would be able to choose to base their teams in either or both locations (along with Seattle). It will be awfully hard to convince existing executives and teams to move their employees to a foreign country. Can it be done. Of course, employees for companies switch countries quite frequently today. But it would be easier if this Amazon proposal was treated as a regional HQ starting from scratch plus it would lessen the feel to Americans that they are losing jobs if it is a regional location as opposed to taking away 'HQ' jobs. Hope I'm wrong.
 

AlvinofDiaspar

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https://www.geekwire.com/2017/six-cities-amazon-consider-second-headquarters/
Six cities Amazon should consider for its second headquarters
  1. Toronto
  2. Boston
  3. Austin
  4. Pittsburgh
  5. Chicago
  6. Atlanta
Full story at the link above.

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Comment from the article:

I think Austin, TX would be perfect; BUT Texas's efforts to pass anti-LGBT legislation will put the entire state out of consideration. I love Toronto, but Amazon might have problems attracting US citizens or US based employees to move there since they'll have to obtain work permits, learn French, pay Canadian and US income taxes, etc.

AoD
 

amnesiajune

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If it comes down to a tax & transit issue, I feel like it's a lot less likely to be built in Toronto than in one of the suburban municipalities, where tax breaks can fly under the radar a lot more easily. Downtown Markham seems like an obvious candidate if RER and BRT is enough for Amazon's standards - lots of vacant land and a long history of giving tax breaks to companies in exchange for employment growth.
 

innsertnamehere

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Amazon isn't looking for a suburban location really though. They may say they are, but they are not a Silicon Valley company. The only way I could see them making that move is with ridiculous tax breaks.

Given the frenzy of unbelievable tax breaks that went flying out of US state governments for the Tesla megafactory a few years ago, this could turn into a big mess that I am doubtful Toronto really wants to be participating in. States were throwing out hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks to grab the 5,000 jobs of the Tesla factory, I shudder to think of what we will see for 50,000.
 

muller877

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If it comes down to a tax & transit issue, I feel like it's a lot less likely to be built in Toronto than in one of the suburban municipalities, where tax breaks can fly under the radar a lot more easily. Downtown Markham seems like an obvious candidate if RER and BRT is enough for Amazon's standards - lots of vacant land and a long history of giving tax breaks to companies in exchange for employment growth.
I would go with either Toronto. With a wild-card from KW. They want to be close to restaurants and a social scene for their employees (without needing a car). Markham does not permit that.

The "other country" issue will need to be addressed by the Fed's. Maybe by offering a special Amazon program for temporary work visas (and a path to citizenship). The Province will have to get at least a UPX shuttle-like service via rail to Unilever immediately (and expediting the DRL). The City will have to give property tax breaks and the Broadview streetcar implemented.
 

Filip

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Ontario is generous with tax breaks and this is the kind of package you'd want to attract (tens of thousands of well paying jobs).

Toronto is great for tech talent and benefits from a tailored immigration policy that favours precisely the type of workers these companies want. The opposite is slowly unraveling down south. I think this is a good opportunity and ours to lose.

NB: the Trudeau government has shown its willingness to be extremely flexible around immigration and papers regarding Thomson Reuters repatriating their executives to Toronto. They'd do it again for something even bigger.
 

amnesiajune

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Given the frenzy of unbelievable tax breaks that went flying out of US state governments for the Tesla megafactory a few years ago, this could turn into a big mess that I am doubtful Toronto really wants to be participating in. States were throwing out hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks to grab the 5,000 jobs of the Tesla factory, I shudder to think of what we will see for 50,000.
Amazon definitely isn't looking for some path of desert ten miles outside a smallish city. They're limited to what major cities and those cities' suburbs can offer, which isn't as much.

Maybe by offering a special Amazon program for temporary work visas
This already exists for a lot of university-educated and college-trained professions. US and Canadian citizens can essentially show up at the other country's border, show their offer and qualifications, pay a small fee and get an indefinite work permit.

I would go with either Toronto. With a wild-card from KW. They want to be close to restaurants and a social scene for their employees (without needing a car).
I'm not so sure of this. Most major Amazon software labs outside of Seattle are in some car-dependent suburb: Cupertino, Anaheim, Tempe, Herndon, etc.

The Province will have to get at least a UPX shuttle-like service via rail to Unilever immediately (and expediting the DRL). The City will have to give property tax breaks and the Broadview streetcar implemented.
Amazon would probably have an easier time demanding flying pigs.
 
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Northern Light

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A few thoughts:

While I'm far from certain Toronto will get this, we do appear on most people and publication's lists.

The Unilever site would be an obvious choice given 'new build', large enough, transit connections (proposed)

While the portlands has the greenfield space, there is no notion of a direct connection to subway/RER which I think rules it out.

The Oxford proposal would close in on the right size and could be made larger conceivably, sitting virtually on top of Union Station it could also make sense.

Finally, if they were really open to the burbs, the only practical choice would be downtown Vaughan, and/or a massive build out on York's campus; but both seem unlikely to me.

***

In our favour, easier access to a global workforce, lower corporate taxes, we don't double tax repatriated earnings, large enough, strong tech workforce, global airport, sufficient space.

Against us, optics in the US, and likely lower tax-incentive availability. I don't see QP or Ottawa opening the purse up on the scale some US cities might. Though I'm sure they'll throw something out there. Note I didn't say 'cost' as I think we're ballpark w/the other areas I see as most likely in the running.
 

nirvanatude

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What caught my attention was that they are calling it 'North America' and not USA in the press release. That alone tells me that Toronto has a long shot. I am sure they must have thought before labeling it as North America and not USA. Realistically Toronto is only viable city for Amazon outside of USA but in NA. Vancouver is too close to Seattle, Montreal is not accommodating, Ottawa/Calgary are not big enough and will not attract talent.
 

pman

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Given our 53.5% marginal income tax rate that kicks in at CAD220k, and Amazon's very highly paid tech and managerial workforce, Toronto would appear to be a weak contender.
 

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