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Amazon Second HQ

ADRM

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Come on, our family income is 110,000 and we live in Toronto - ok not downtown - north of eglinton. My husband 75-80000 and me 25,000-30,000 about central core.
Like I said: "It's not cry-me-a-river stuff, obviously, but there are indeed different shades of what both "high paying" and "affordable" mean to different people in different situations."
 

Irishmonk

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In many ways, Toronto is an east coast Seattle--expensive, congested and bursting at the seams--with the added disadvantages of being in a different country and suffering from cold winters. Neither Canada's stable immigration policies, nor next year's promise of legal weed, will be enough to sway Bezos from choosing a location that offers what Seattle cannot--a place with ample space to grow, a low cost of living for tens of thousands of millennials to firmly plant roots in, and a compliant--possibly desperate--local government willing to offer steamer trunks of cash and contort themselves into whatever position Amazon demands of them.

Unfortunately, Tory's futile bid to woo and bed this out of range suitor could play into the hands of Doug Ford who, salivating from the sidelines, will undoubtedly spin this as another sign of Tory's ineffectualness.
 

Avenue

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I don't understand why Toronto keeps getting referred to as 'congested' everywhere. Yes, it doesn't have 25 highways passing through its downtown like your average North American city but in contrast in Toronto you live in the city and not in a satellite town. All this 'Toronto is so congested' thing screams of 'I drive to Toronto 6 times a year to catch a Jays/Leafs games' to me.
 
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TheTigerMaster

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I don't understand why Toronto keeps getting referred to as 'congested' everywhere. Yes, it doesn't have 25 highways passing through its downtown like your average North American city but in contrast in Toronto you live in the city and not in a satellite town. All this 'Toronto is so congested' thing screams of 'I drive to Toronto 6 times a year to catch Jays/Leafs games' to me.
Atlanta has road congestion at least as bad as Toronto, with an absolutely terrible transit system to boot, yet it seems to be favoured to win among internet commentators.
 

jje1000

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Ontario enlists former TD Bank CEO Ed Clark to help with Amazon headquarters bid

https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/ne...with-amazon-headquarters-bid/article36221592/


Brad Duguid, Ontario's Minister of Economic Development and Growth, says his government had given out $3-billion in various subsidies to businesses since 2004, resulting in $27-billion in private investment and 170,000 jobs.

He said his government was willing to put up significant subsidies if it meant Amazon would put its massive complex somewhere in the province: "You're either in the game of attracting these kinds of jobs, or you're not. … We're no stranger to this kind of competition."

The federal government was also expected to be involved. In a statement, Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains was noncommittal about providing subsidies for any Amazon bid, but appeared open to the idea.
https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/re...nd-headquarters-in-n-america/article36194091/
 

christof53

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https://www.bloomberg.com/news/arti...eigh-boston-in-search-for-second-headquarters

"A few years ago, Amazon executives discussed building a second headquarters in Toronto because two decades of rapid growth had left the company feeling constrained in Seattle. But global consumer chief Jeff Wilke objected and said the new location should be in the U.S., the person said. Amazon disputed that Wilke expressed that view."


It seems that we're already on Amazon's radar and will be seriously considered for this. I'd imagine that those viewpoints about not being in the US have dwindled over the years, especially since Trump. Otherwise why even include Canada in the RFP?

That quote and the public RFP also makes me think that Amazon has already spent years researching a shortlist of where they want to locate HQ2 (my guesses are Toronto, Boston, Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, and Pittsburgh since all of these places have the east coast's top universities in computer science), and they're using game theory (ie smaller, desperate cities) to try and wring out better incentives, infrastructure, and tax breaks from their shortlist cities.
 

44 North

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I've had this thought before, but would there be any benefit to making "East Harbour", along with the Port Lands and some of East Bayfront, its own Centre and provincial Urban Growth Centre?

We already have a silly amount of these downtowns/separate CBDs, probably more than anywhere else in the world. So why not another one? Obviously we can't continually extend the area that is downtown forever. I mean, a downtown/CBD is sort of a specific thing. And because the EBF and EH will have a lot of mixed use (institution, office, residential, etc), it basically fits the definition of a Centre/UGC. So why not just make a new one? Maybe there's merit, like being more likely to receive infrastructure investment.
 

TheTigerMaster

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https://www.bloomberg.com/news/arti...eigh-boston-in-search-for-second-headquarters

"A few years ago, Amazon executives discussed building a second headquarters in Toronto because two decades of rapid growth had left the company feeling constrained in Seattle. But global consumer chief Jeff Wilke objected and said the new location should be in the U.S., the person said. Amazon disputed that Wilke expressed that view."


It seems that we're already on Amazon's radar and will be seriously considered for this. I'd imagine that those viewpoints about not being in the US have dwindled over the years, especially since Trump. Otherwise why even include Canada in the RFP?

That quote and the public RFP also makes me think that Amazon has already spent years researching a shortlist of where they want to locate HQ2 (my guesses are Toronto, Boston, Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, and Pittsburgh since all of these places have the east coast's top universities in computer science), and they're using game theory (ie smaller, desperate cities) to try and wring out better incentives, infrastructure, and tax breaks from their shortlist cities.
It's telling in itself that the RFP specifically asked for North American cities, rather than American cities. We all know how much of a blind spot US companies can have for anything in NA outside of the United States, so this tells me that Amazon must have had certain Canadian or Mexican cities high on their list of consideration. And given that Toronto is the only non-American city in North America that meet Amazon's more quantifiable requirements (regarding connectivity and whatnot), this RFP is basically saying "we're looking for US cities or Toronto. So Toronto must be pretty high on their shortlist already.

Now mind that other North American cities can certainly make the investments in infrastructure and air connections necessary to meet Amazon's requirements, but this is just one more hurdle for them. For now, this competition is essentially limited to the US and Toronto.
 

TheTigerMaster

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NY Times: Dear Amazon, We Picked Your New Headquarters for You

NY Times puts Boston, Washington, Denver and Portland on their shortlist, with Denver ultimately winning. Note that they did not examine any Canadian cities, due to lack of data.

My emphasis on Boston, because as per the linked Bloomberg article a few posts back, some Amazon execs do favour Boston.
 

TheTigerMaster

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NY Times: Dear Amazon, We Picked Your New Headquarters for You

NY Times puts Boston, Washington, Denver and Portland on their shortlist, with Denver ultimately winning. Note that they did not examine any Canadian cities, due to lack of data.

My emphasis on Boston, because as per the linked Bloomberg article a few posts back, some Amazon execs do favour Boston.
Boston mayor Marty Walsh said, “We are not going to get into a bidding war with another city over something like this”, which is why the NYTimes eliminated the city from consideration. This puts Toronto at an advantage, because even without Toronto engaging in a bidding war, Amazon's operating costs should be very low here (mind that the Ontario government has already singled they're willing to play ball in Amazon's bidding war).

Even without financial incentives from Boston, the quality of educational institutions in the city will still make them a formidable challenger. If Boston changes its mind and does use financial incentives, I don't believe Toronto would have much of a chance beating them.
 

Palma

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one reason you have companies say they need more students graduating from computer science is to have an oversupply and drive down salaries
 

jje1000

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Already stated but still interesting as additional context:
kasra_z said:
#Toronto with 212,500 tech workers is already the 3rd biggest tech hub in North America surpassing #Boston #Chicago #Seattle #ElevateTO
https://twitter.com/kasra_z/status/907749713075720192

But more amusingly:


suesthegrl said:
Toronto's tech sector grew by 22,500 jobs in 2015/16. At this rate, TO's tech sector will be bigger than Silicon Valley in 2 yrs! #ElevateTO
https://twitter.com/suesthegrl/status/907693058833178625

I wonder what the nature of our tech sector is- is the workforce the type that Amazon wants?
 

christof53

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Boston mayor Marty Walsh said, “We are not going to get into a bidding war with another city over something like this”, which is why the NYTimes eliminated the city from consideration. This puts Toronto at an advantage, because even without Toronto engaging in a bidding war, Amazon's operating costs should be very low here (mind that the Ontario government has already singled they're willing to play ball in Amazon's bidding war).

Even without financial incentives from Boston, the quality of educational institutions in the city will still make them a formidable challenger. If Boston changes its mind and does use financial incentives, I don't believe Toronto would have much of a chance beating them.
I agree that Boston is the favourite to win this simply because of Harvard and MIT. Beyond that though, they also have an unbelievable plan in redeveloping the inner belt in nearby Somerville. Here's a screenshot:




The red circle is the inner belt set for redevelopment. It's an area of 140 acres with the potential to build 5.5-10 million sqft of office space. If given to Amazon, this would put their campus within 2km of Harvard, MIT, Downtown Boston, and 4km of the airport. The inner belt is also connected to the red line, green line, and I-93. Here's a link for the redevelopment plan if interested: http://www.somervillebydesign.com/w...elt-Brickbottom-Plan-Draft-2014-152-pages.pdf


I've been kind of obsessed with this whole thing so I've poking around in other city's sub-reddits to see what their ideas and attitudes are towards getting HQ2. It's incredible, if you search "amazon hq2" in reddit you'll see that almost every city from Tulsa, OK to Halifax are excitedly discussing their chances of landing HQ2. Our saving grace is that Boston is the only city that I've seen whose citizens vocally do not want Amazon. They are worried about further ruining things such as housing costs and gridlock, and there seems to be a general consensus of this attitude. Mix this with Mayor Marty not wishing to get into a bidding war and we all of a sudden become much more attractive option (assuming we put forth a good incentive package).

I don't think there is a city in the world that can compete with Boston, they have almost the perfect setup. It's really just a matter if they want it or not, and so far it seems as if they don't.
 

TheTigerMaster

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I agree that Boston is the favourite to win this simply because of Harvard and MIT. Beyond that though, they also have an unbelievable plan in redeveloping the inner belt in nearby Somerville. Here's a screenshot:




The red circle is the inner belt set for redevelopment. It's an area of 140 acres with the potential to build 5.5-10 million sqft of office space. If given to Amazon, this would put their campus within 2km of Harvard, MIT, Downtown Boston, and 4km of the airport. The inner belt is also connected to the red line, green line, and I-93. Here's a link for the redevelopment plan if interested: http://www.somervillebydesign.com/w...elt-Brickbottom-Plan-Draft-2014-152-pages.pdf


I've been kind of obsessed with this whole thing so I've poking around in other city's sub-reddits to see what their ideas and attitudes are towards getting HQ2. It's incredible, if you search "amazon hq2" in reddit you'll see that almost every city from Tulsa, OK to Halifax are excitedly discussing their chances of landing HQ2. Our saving grace is that Boston is the only city that I've seen whose citizens vocally do not want Amazon. They are worried about further ruining things such as housing costs and gridlock, and there seems to be a general consensus of this attitude. Mix this with Mayor Marty not wishing to get into a bidding war and we all of a sudden become much more attractive option (assuming we put forth a good incentive package).

I don't think there is a city in the world that can compete with Boston, they have almost the perfect setup. It's really just a matter if they want it or not, and so far it seems as if they don't.
Will Boston even be responding to Amazon's RFP?
 

Avenue

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I agree that Boston is the favourite to win this simply because of Harvard and MIT.
I don't get it. Is Amazon trying to hire co-op students? Why is it a consideration that MIT and Harvard are nearby? MIT and Harvard grads for the most part (i) aren't from Boston area anyway (ii) can move anywhere if the money and the other conditions are good. It's not like their grads have an overwhelming preference towards staying where they are once they finish their degrees. We're talking about super ambitious unmarried 22 year-olds.
 

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