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Amazon Second HQ

TrickyRicky

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I say remote volcanic Island wins. Come on... Bezos is the best shot the industry has at a real cliché Bond villain. Zuckerberg is close and he is kind of already building a lair on a volcanic island but I doubt his wife would let him go too far down that road.
 

AlvinofDiaspar

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I say remote volcanic Island wins. Come on... Bezos is the best shot the industry has at a real cliché Bond villain. Zuckerberg is close and he is kind of already building a lair on a volcanic island but I doubt his wife would let him go too far down that road.
And of course, he is building rockets...

AoD
 

christof53

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After following many of these proposals, I gotta give props to Amazon for making all of these conservative car-centric cities come out and act like they actually care about things like good transit and bike lanes. I get the sense that so many were struggling to show off any progressive city-building elements that Amazon asked for, and ended up trying to sell that one bike lane they installed that one time.

It's a shame that this seemingly new progressive attitude was in response to Amazon instead of being pre-emptive to them. Hell, the Mayor of Austin pretty much came out and said that if Amazon picks them then they will build transit in response. Ontario said the same thing in our bid book (they spoke of expediting transit projects related to wherever Amazon decides to locate their HQ2).

Hopefully the take away from this public RFP is a stronger arguing point that things such as transit, bike lanes, arts and culture, sidewalks, etc are not just quality-of-life measures, but also important for attracting big business to your city. I really hope Amazon picks a city that has all of these aspects in spades to set an example to other cities that it's worthwhile to invest in them as well.
 

WislaHD

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The thing is, I feel like the end result here (and in other places in similar positions) are that they aim to attract Amazon by offering massive tax breaks, and then look to fund public transit and other infrastructure through the public piggy bank and by debt.

It seems backwards. Companies like Amazon should be paying taxes in order to fund the municipal services they wish to take advantage of.

I am relieved that Toronto did not cave and offer tax incentives or breaks to Amazon. It is not a game I want to play.
 

Filip

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I just had a random thought. About 4 years ago we were playing a guessing game regarding a potential tenant for CF’s 160 Front development. My contact had told me it was a massive global company without a significant office presence in Toronto and couldn’t divulge the industry because it would be easily guessed. This caused them to redesign the complex. Well that clearly fell through. However, in one of these HQ2 articles, it mentioned how Bezos was actively looking to establish some form of mini HQ2 back in 2012... in Toronto. He was eventually discouraged by his executives who weren’t sold on the Canadian and Toronto angle. Well... I think things may have changed. This could be just an exercise to empirically prove Toronto is a good choice for this sort of investment. Clearly the scope has grown but the intention is still there. A few seem to share the same thought.

In what world does East Harbour make sense otherwise!

Remember, Trump is temporary. Under Obama this wouldn’t even be an issue.
 

WislaHD

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It should be said that Toronto is not exactly a bad city to locate an HQ2, even if the States were under an Obama-like presidency.

Except those nativist forces aren't exactly temporary
Me neither. The chickens have come home to roost following decades of neoliberal policy making and rapid technological shift.

In what world does East Harbour make sense otherwise!
The growth we are going to receive in this region means that it makes sense, I would think. Especially with GO-RER development and in junction with what is going to happen in the south with the Portlands.

Amazon bid just makes it an even more straightforward proposition.
 

TheTigerMaster

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I just had a random thought. About 4 years ago we were playing a guessing game regarding a potential tenant for CF’s 160 Front development. My contact had told me it was a massive global company without a significant office presence in Toronto and couldn’t divulge the industry because it would be easily guessed. This caused them to redesign the complex. Well that clearly fell through. However, in one of these HQ2 articles, it mentioned how Bezos was actively looking to establish some form of mini HQ2 back in 2012... in Toronto. He was eventually discouraged by his executives who weren’t sold on the Canadian and Toronto angle. Well... I think things may have changed. This could be just an exercise to empirically prove Toronto is a good choice for this sort of investment. Clearly the scope has grown but the intention is still there. A few seem to share the same thought.

In what world does East Harbour make sense otherwise!

Remember, Trump is temporary. Under Obama this wouldn’t even be an issue.
How much square feet was in that 160 Front development? Was the size appropriate for Amazon?.
 

Filip

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It should be said that Toronto is not exactly a bad city to locate an HQ2, even if the States were under an Obama-like presidency.


Me neither. The chickens have come home to roost following decades of neoliberal policy making and rapid technological shift.



The growth we are going to receive in this region means that it makes sense, I would think. Especially with GO-RER development and in junction with what is going to happen in the south with the Portlands.

Amazon bid just makes it an even more straightforward proposition.
Still... 11 million sqf? It would take decades to absorb. Hopefully Amazon speeds that up!
 

TheTigerMaster

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Amazon was a much smaller company back then. I believe about 1.1 million sqf.
Even today, they’re asking for only 500,000 square feet initially. So seems plausible that 160 Front could’ve been just the beginning of their presence in Toronto.
 

WislaHD

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Still... 11 million sqf? It would take decades to absorb. Hopefully Amazon speeds that up!
I always perceived East Harbour as a multi-decade phased proposal, until Amazon bid came to light. Then I realized there was a solid chance it could be absorbed within 2030-2040 timeframe, should we win the bid.
 

jje1000

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Google sees big things in Toronto, and Sidewalk Labs CEO says Amazon might, too

Sidewalk Labs CEO Dan Doctoroff is enamored with Toronto, where his company is partnering with the local government to build a high-tech waterfront neighborhood called Quayside. He’s so taken with Toronto that he thinks no other city will come close in Amazon’s HQ2 contest — that is, if the Seattle tech titan sees what he sees.
Doctoroff: “We really saw this as the perfect confluence of ambition, and experience, and location, and alignment. I gotta tell you something, that if Amazon sees what we do, it won’t even be a close call.”

Fleissig: “But unlike Amazon, they responded to our RFP.”

Doctoroff: “And we’re not asking for handouts either.
https://www.geekwire.com/2017/alphabet-vs-amazon-sidewalk-labs-ceo-says-hq2-vision-wont-even-close-googles-toronto-plan/?lipi=urn:li:page:d_flagship3_me_post_analytics;TlhH/03QSgCJ31Y8VxXUow==&licu=urn:li:control:d_flagship3_me_post_analytics-analytics_suggested_article
 

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