A brand new examine says Toronto trails solely New York because the likeliest spot for Amazon’s new HQ — however that doesn’t rely tax breaks (News)


As 20 cities eagerly await indicators from Amazon Inc., contemporary evaluation by an actual property and tourism guide has each good and dangerous News for Toronto’s hopes of touchdown the tech large’s second headquarters.

Resonance, with workplaces in Vancouver and New York, used its information on cities and Amazon’s “request for proposal” to rank which of the 20 shortlisted cities greatest meet the digital retailing large’s standards for a brand new hub with as much as 50,000 staff and billions of {dollars} of potential investments.

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The biospheres at Amazon's headquarters in downtown Seattle in an Oct. 9, 2017, file photo.
The biospheres at Amazon’s headquarters in downtown Seattle in an Oct. 9, 2017, file picture.  (CHRISTOPHER MILLER / NYT)

Amazon’s priorities, outlined in a bidding course of harking back to these for Olympics internet hosting rights, embrace proffered financial incentives and the depth of tech expertise. However the agency additionally values much less conventional elements together with cultural variety and leisure alternatives for these staff.

Resonance was not shocked that its evaluation pegged New York Metropolis as greatest hitting most of Amazon’s marks. The corporate was shocked that Toronto, the one shortlisted Canadian metropolis, nabbed the quantity two spot within the examine, forward of Chicago, Northern Virginia and Los Angeles.

Whereas Toronto is seen as Canada’s powerhouse, says Chris Honest, Resonance’s Calgary-raised president, “within the North American context I believe most Canadians, and definitely People, would put Toronto someplace down the listing behind cities like Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas and L.A.

“That’s why it shocked us to see Toronto come out at quantity two as a result of we don’t normally take into consideration Toronto as being second solely to New York.”

He credit Toronto’s edge on “experiential” quality-of-life elements together with nightlife, parks, security, tradition and professional sports activities.

The dangerous News for Toronto is that, when Honest factored in different concerns, together with the town not providing tax breaks and Amazon planning a significant growth of its different Canadian workplace, in Vancouver, Toronto fell off the chief board. New York additionally fell down the listing due to its shortage of appropriate actual property.

Resonance is predicting Chicago, Northern Virginia, and L.A. because the probably websites for Amazon’s “HQ2”, giving Boston an outdoor shot.

Nonetheless, Honest says, Toronto’s surprisingly good displaying bodes effectively for the town as it really works to lure different huge worldwide employers.

“When the (Amazon search) mud settles I believe we’ll see increasingly more corporations following this type of course of, or at the least making selections and selections primarily based on related standards that aren’t centered on simply economics however on the standard of the locations,” he says.

Amazon introduced the shortlist in January and has reportedly completed visiting the 20 cities, together with Toronto in March. Toronto World, the company co-ordinating the regional bid, stated Amazon officers requested about “our tech sector and the advantages that come from our publicly funded well being care and schooling programs.”

Toronto World stated Wednesday it has heard nothing extra and is “awaiting path on subsequent steps.” Seattle-based Amazon has stated the brand new web site will probably be identified by the tip of 2018.

Officers in Arlington, Texas, which made a pitch as a part of Dallas’s bid, say Amazon has eradicated the suburb regardless of a pledge of $921 million U.S. in “performance-based incentives.” Arlington’s mayor informed CNN that Amazon needs a “extra superior city setting.”

Whereas Toronto Mayor John Tory is enthusiastic in regards to the prospect of an enormous Amazon hub right here, others fear the prize would deliver ache within the type of skyrocketing house costs, a siphoning of expertise from the remainder of the tech sector, and calls for on authorities for particular therapy.

The ultimate concern got here into focus earlier this month when Amazon warned Seattle metropolis council it might halt growth plans if the town moved forward with a tax on giant employers to lift $75 million (U.S.) to pay for badly wanted reasonably priced housing and companies for homeless residents.

Seattle council scaled again the tax however nonetheless acquired a scolding from a “upset” Amazon vice-president who stated the corporate stays “very apprehensive in regards to the future created by the council’s hostile strategy and rhetoric towards bigger companies, which forces us to query our development right here.”


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