Speculators descend on top contenders for Amazon HQ2

Investors are betting on certain cities ahead of the company's decision

Oct.October 22, 2018 02:30 PM
Amazon HQ2, Real Estate Investment

Crystal City, Virginia and Jeff Bezos (Credit: Wikipedia and Jeff Bezos)

As cities continue to court Amazon, real estate speculators are betting on areas they think might be the home of the online giant’s second headquarters.
Investors are throwing cash at sites near top contenders for Amazon’s new headquarters; a decision is expected by year end.

They are also buying shares in real estate investment trust JBG Smith Properties, which owns a significant chunk of commercial real estate in Crystal City, Virginia, the Wall Street Journal reported. Crystal City appears to be a frontrunner among the 20 finalists in the so-called HQ2 competition.

Others are investing in several finalist cities. Bryan Copley, co-founder of the Seattle-based real estate startup CityBldr, is raising $100 million for a fund that will invest in residential properties in Seattle, Los Angeles and whichever city ultimately wins Amazon’s second headquarters.

“HQ2 is guaranteed to meet three criteria: tech job growth, tech job growth and tech job growth,” Copley said.

New York City, Miami and Chicago are also finalists.

Some investors are waiting for Amazon to make a final decision before buying up property. Erick Quay, who runs New York-based hedge fund Quay Capital, told the Journal he plans to invest within the first six months of an Amazon announcement. He doesn’t expect prices to change too much in the initial months following the announcement. [WSJ] — Kathryn Brenzel

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