For those who just can’t stand surprises, a recent survey of 100 economists and real estate experts released a report predicting the top contenders — and all signs seem to point to either Northern Virginia or Atlanta.
Compiled by Zillow, the survey looked at home values, rental markets, job growth, public transit, access to lawmakers and a pool of well-educated potential workers to select the two top contenders.
“As the experience of Seattle suggests, Amazon will not only directly bring thousands of high-paying jobs to the chosen city, but also has the potential to transform the regional economy,” said Zillow’s Aaron Terrazas in a release.
But the dark side to Amazon’s HQ2 can also be demonstrated by looking at the case of Seattle according to other experts.
“These cities should be prepared not only to justify their financial inducements, but to carefully weigh the social risks and costs,” said Pulsenomics’ Terry Loebs. “The mix and degree of these potential risks, such as diminished affordable housing stock, more congested roadways, and greater income inequality, vary considerably across the 20 markets.”
Whether Atlanta will still remain a strong contender in light of lawmakers revoking tax breaks from Delta Air Lines after it ended discounts for NRA members remains to be seen, as CNBC noted. Amazon’s top 20 shortlist was announced earlier this year and four southern cities were quickly singled out as strong potential choices. — Erin Hudson