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Old 09-14-2017, 10:14 AM   #221
Rover
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Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

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Baltimore has the characteristics of the "coastal elite". There's just not a lot of good employers. Baltimore has zero fortune 500 companies in the metro area. I really believe that's all they need.

If my job was transferable I'd move elsewhere if it meant I didn't have to pay half my income on rent.
Well, if you're going to go to Baltimore you might as well go to DC instead. While Baltimore I'm sure is doing its best, the city is still a dump for the most part.
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Old 09-14-2017, 10:14 AM   #222
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Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

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I don't get people advocating cities that are on the decline. Yes it would be nice for Amazon to play the white knight but is that really in their best interests?

Pittsburgh and Chicago for example have both lost population in their metro areas since 2010. Baltimore the city's population is nearing a 100 year low. Basically residents are voting with their feet. Another problem with Pittsburgh is the city is too small. A CSA for about 2.6M vs 4.7 for Seattle (and 8.2 for Boston). If Amazon is getting tapped out of workers in an area almost 90% bigger, how does moving to a smaller city solve that problem? Denver has less of an issue but still almost a million less people in the wider area than Seattle.
Exactly. Good luck getting talented people with multiple options to move to Baltimore or Pittsburgh. The city has to be attractive now, not just be potentially attractive.
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Old 09-14-2017, 10:22 AM   #223
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Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

If Suffolk Downs became the site of Amazon's 2nd headquarters, the property value of Winthrop, Revere, and Saugus would skyrocket.

For well paid employees though, there aren't really any wealthy towns around Winthrop that are known for good schools, there aren't any exciting urban centers nearby. While the site is large I doubt that it would be Amazon's first choice.

I think Allston (Harvard) Yards would be much more likely.
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Old 09-14-2017, 10:24 AM   #224
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Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

Surprised that it doesn't appear anyone's posted this since Tuesday:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...d-headquarters

Boston's in the title, but the article also cites a prior plan to put Amazon in Toronto and a desire among employees for Austin. It points out the Whole Foods acquisition on that score (WF HQ is in Austin). Still think Texas state politics kills that, but I could be surprised.

Also kind of shocked to see them cite "a lower cost of living than many other big cities" as a point in Boston's favor.
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Old 09-14-2017, 10:27 AM   #225
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Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

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Also kind of shocked to see them cite "a lower cost of living than many other big cities" as a point in Boston's favor.
I guess Boston is cheaper then Manhattan
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Old 09-14-2017, 10:30 AM   #226
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Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

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Surprised that it doesn't appear anyone's posted this since Tuesday:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...d-headquarters

Boston's in the title, but the article also cites a prior plan to put Amazon in Toronto and a desire among employees for Austin. It points out the Whole Foods acquisition on that score (WF HQ is in Austin). Still think Texas state politics kills that, but I could be surprised.

Also kind of shocked to see them cite "a lower cost of living than many other big cities" as a point in Boston's favor.
That's been posted. And Amazon denied it.

The Austin preference they cite was the opinion of literally one ex- mid-level employee. I wonder if their reported Boston preference is similarly sourced...

Compared to SF and NY (the other two main tech draws) Boston does have a lower cost of living.
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Old 09-14-2017, 10:32 AM   #227
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Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

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Exactly. Good luck getting talented people with multiple options to move to Baltimore or Pittsburgh. The city has to be attractive now, not just be potentially attractive.
They are already attractive, I wouldn't be paying half my middle class income to live in a tiny apartment. But my job isn't moving anywhere.
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Old 09-14-2017, 10:33 AM   #228
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Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

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If Suffolk Downs became the site of Amazon's 2nd headquarters, the property value of Winthrop, Revere, and Saugus would skyrocket.
I am all for including all the options and letting Amazon decide... even the worst possible real estate options.

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I think Allston (Harvard) Yards would be much more likely.
Yes, much much more likely.

Last edited by tangent; 09-14-2017 at 10:45 AM.
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Old 09-14-2017, 10:36 AM   #229
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Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

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That's been posted. And Amazon denied it.

The Austin preference they cite was the opinion of literally one ex- mid-level employee. I wonder if their reported Boston preference is similarly sourced...

Compared to SF and NY (the other two main tech draws) Boston does have a lower cost of living.
Fair enough (I checked, but not close enough I guess). Amazon didn't really deny the report, though. They denied that they have a "front-runner", which Bloomberg didn't claim. They claimed that some executives are pushing for Boston and that the company is trying hard to maintain the appearance of an even playing field, which sounds accurate enough.
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Old 09-14-2017, 10:36 AM   #230
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Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

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They are already attractive, I wouldn't be paying half my middle class income to live in a tiny apartment. But my job isn't moving anywhere.
These people aren't going to be paying half their income to live in tiny apartments; they're going to make a lot more money than a "middle class income." They will want a city that can provide them with bars, restaurants, culture, arts, and a high quality of life.

Of course that's all a generalization and does not apply to every person, but I think it's safe to say it widely applies to the prospective people Amazon will want to hire.
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Old 09-14-2017, 10:40 AM   #231
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Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

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Yes, much much more likely.
I wonder if Harvard would be willing to be a big part of the pitch. Not just for the interchange site, but for the adjacent empty property on the Allston campus. Harvard's gravitas would be enormous, but Allston isn't transit-accessible enough, I fear.
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Old 09-14-2017, 10:45 AM   #232
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Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

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These people aren't going to be paying half their income to live in tiny apartments; they're going to make a lot more money than a "middle class income." They will want a city that can provide them with bars, restaurants, culture, arts, and a high quality of life.

Of course that's all a generalization and does not apply to every person, but I think it's safe to say it widely applies to the prospective people Amazon will want to hire.
If the average software engineer makes ~100k a year that's not that far off from the 60-70k a year I make. And entry level probably makes less than me. I'd be well off if I wasn't living in this region. But I do love it, it's my home.
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Old 09-14-2017, 10:48 AM   #233
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Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

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They will want a city that can provide them with bars, restaurants, culture, arts, and a high quality of life.
Pittsburgh certainly has all these things. The days of Pittsburgh being a hollowed-out former mill city are gone. In the last 10 years or so it's become a hip place-to-be in the eyes of many people. I'm not saying that Amazon will choose Pittsburgh, but it's silly to cast is aside as fundamentally undesirable.

I don't know much about Baltimore...
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Old 09-14-2017, 10:56 AM   #234
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Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

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I wonder if Harvard would be willing to be a big part of the pitch. Not just for the interchange site, but for the adjacent empty property on the Allston campus. Harvard's gravitas would be enormous, but Allston isn't transit-accessible enough, I fear.
West Station would be key to the Allston Beacon Yards location being feasible for Amazon's requirements, since some planning has already been done I bet that with a little money that could get done quickly.

Eventually, I'd like to see a another green line branch on Grand Junction over to West Station which would effectively tie the Allston location together with MIT/Cambridge (Or BRT along GJ), but that isn't even in the public planning stages and likely relies on other transit changes first.
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Old 09-14-2017, 10:56 AM   #235
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Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

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If the average software engineer makes ~100k a year that's not that far off from the 60-70k a year I make. And entry level probably makes less than me. I'd be well off if I wasn't living in this region. But I do love it, it's my home.
Entry level software engineer and financial analyst salaries are $100k. These people will be making significantly more than you on average (not that you're not making a good salary). I'm just trying to point out that these people will have a different experience of Boston from the average middle class person.

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Pittsburgh certainly has all these things. The days of Pittsburgh being a hollowed-out former mill city are gone. In the last 10 years or so it's become a hip place-to-be in the eyes of many people. I'm not saying that Amazon will choose Pittsburgh, but it's silly to cast is aside as fundamentally undesirable.
Point well taken, I'm not familiar with the rust belt cities. I don't think it's a binary cool/uncool, but rather a spectrum of desirability. It sounds like Pittsburgh has moved up that scale but I'd guess it's still below cities like Boston, Austin, Denver, etc.
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Old 09-14-2017, 12:23 PM   #236
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Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

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I wonder if Harvard would be willing to be a big part of the pitch. Not just for the interchange site, but for the adjacent empty property on the Allston campus. Harvard's gravitas would be enormous, but Allston isn't transit-accessible enough, I fear.
Limited transit aside, look at Harvard's moves in Allston.

> Swapped property (CCF site on the Pike) with Boston Skating Club for latter's property on Western Ave.

> Moved out of the Arsenal for Allston.

> Nearly got WBZ to move its studio from Allston.

> Didn't go after the former Episcopal Divinity School property west of the JFK school. Let Lasell have it.

With respect to MIT (already land poor) or Harvard (very land poor in Cambridge) offering up acres of land they own for Amazon, ask the question, What's in it for Harvard [MIT]?

Would Harvard swap Beacon Yards if the city condemned all the non-Harvard property between Windom and N. Harvard, and Western and Cambridge streets and gave it to Harvard in exchange? In a heartbeat.
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Old 09-14-2017, 12:47 PM   #237
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Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

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Limited transit aside, look at Harvard's moves in Allston.

> Swapped property (CCF site on the Pike) with Boston Skating Club for latter's property on Western Ave.

> Moved out of the Arsenal for Allston.

> Nearly got WBZ to move its studio from Allston.

> Didn't go after the former Episcopal Divinity School property west of the JFK school. Let Lasell have it.

With respect to MIT (already land poor) or Harvard (very land poor in Cambridge) offering up acres of land they own for Amazon, ask the question, What's in it for Harvard [MIT]?

Would Harvard swap Beacon Yards if the city condemned all the non-Harvard property between Windom and N. Harvard, and Western and Cambridge streets and gave it to Harvard in exchange? In a heartbeat.
The difference between WBZ and Amazon, I think, is that Harvard has slated a lot of this land for science and tech corporate use that supports its academic profile - Kendall Square West. Amazon is a major anchor if that's what they want. If Amazon goes to Boston/Cambridge but not to Allston (to Fort Point or North Point, say) that's another big center of gravity in East Cambridge or the Innovation District for their own holdings to compete against.
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Old 09-14-2017, 12:50 PM   #238
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Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

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If the average software engineer makes ~100k a year that's not that far off from the 60-70k a year I make.
Well, except that's 35k more a year, or $2900 more a month, or a whole decent apartment more than your tiny apartment.

No offense, I make less than you do and I'm frustrated too, but these are not people who are going to be worrying too much about cost of living. Many are right to point out that it's the people currently living wherever this ship lands who face the most pressure.
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Old 09-14-2017, 02:25 PM   #239
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Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

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Well, except that's 35k more a year, or $2900 more a month, or a whole decent apartment more than your tiny apartment.

No offense, I make less than you do and I'm frustrated too, but these are not people who are going to be worrying too much about cost of living. Many are right to point out that it's the people currently living wherever this ship lands who face the most pressure.
Sure the average might be 100k, but they'll probably hire people out of school at 60-70k. Still most of those people will be single without the financial pressure of kids.
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Old 09-14-2017, 02:31 PM   #240
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Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

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Sure the average might be 100k, but they'll probably hire people out of school at 60-70k. Still most of those people will be single without the financial pressure of kids.
No. See my post a few above this one. The average will be much higher than $100k. That's just entry level.
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