WASHINGTON - A new ranking of cities seeking Amazon’s second headquarters based on industry predictions from several sources puts Washington at No. 5.
The number comes from Sperling’s Best Places, which took into account 18 different sources. The nation’s capital averaged out to be the fifth most likely spot for Amazon’s “HQ2.”
Three of the industry predictors put Washington as their number one choice—Everest Group, Money/CNN, and Richard Florida, a University of Toronto business professor.
"Washington D.C. is the odds-on favorite for Amazon’s second headquarters. There are not very many places that have what Amazon needs," he said, noting D.C. has a broad talent base of highly educated people, a diverse metro area, great airports, and a good environment for young singles and married people with families.
Hundreds of cities are vying for the coveted designation. But Amazon isn’t making it easy.
The company has some big items on its “must-have” list: 8 million square feet of office space, direct access to mass transit, an international airport no more than 45 minutes away, a big pool of top talent — all in a metropolitan area with a population of more than 1 million.
With all of that in mind, Atlanta is the odds-on favorite, predicted Bert Sterling, who’s company Sterling’s Best Places put out the new ranking.
"Trust us, it's going to be Atlanta," the ranking concluded. The next two contenders on the list: Boston and Chicago.
"Our thing is about location and place and how it matters, and it seems to matter more and more these days," Sperling said. "This is our meta-analysis, taking stock of everything that's out there. This is what folks are saying."
Amazon got 238 bids from 43 states. A winner is expected to be named in 2018.
One state that didn't bid was Arkansas, home of Amazon competitor Walmart.
Still, Sterling, hedging his own list's prediction, said any city could still be Amazon's pick.
Best Places ranking of cities
- Washington, D.C.
- Austin, Texas
- New York
- Raleigh, N.C.
- San Jose, Calif.
- Salt Lake City
- San Francisco
- Portland, Ore.
- Nashville, Tenn.
- Los Angeles
- Charlotte, N.C.
Detroit Free Press / WUSA9 / USA Today