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South Florida by the numbers: Alexa, add Miami to the Amazon HQ2 shortlist

By Master Brokers Forum | January 25, 2018 01:30PM

“South Florida by the numbers” is a web feature that catalogs the most notable, quirky and surprising real estate statistics.

Miami and South Florida got some exciting news last week, when e-commerce giant Amazon announced that the city/region had made the shortlist of candidates for its second national headquarters, or “HQ2”. The bid was formally and collectively submitted last year by South Florida’s leading economic development organizations, namely the Beacon Council of Miami-Dade County, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, and the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County. Regional cooperation has helped South Florida successfully bid for major corporate relocations and sporting events in the past, and multiple real estate sites and incentive packages from all three counties would appear to be giving the region an advantage once again. But will it be enough to make the jump to Amazon Prime? Let’s explore in this month’s edition of “South Florida by the numbers.”

20: Number of final cities/regions making the cut for HQ2, selected from 238 proposals. With the exception of Toronto, all are from (mostly) urban hubs in the United States, primarily along the East Coast. South Florida’s competition includes Boston; Atlanta; Austin; Chicago; Pittsburgh; Philadelphia; and Montgomery County, Maryland, a Washington, D.C. suburb (along with Washington, D.C. on its own). Amazon is targeting an area with low cost of living, an educated workforce, high incentives, at least 1 million people, and access to an international airport. [TheRealDeal]

50,000: Number of employees expected to be hired at the eventual HQ2 location, with an average wage of more than $100,000. In Miami-Dade County, that would easily make Amazon the top employer, leading to real concerns about less affordable housing and dramatically higher rental rates should Miami be selected. [MiamiHerald]

$400 million: Amount of the city of Miami’s recently-approved “Miami Forever Bond,” which would provide funding for resiliency, affordable housing, and culture/infrastructure. According to Miami’s Mayor Suarez, the city and its community redevelopment agencies were committed to increasing funding for affordable housing and encouraging workforce housing through zoning changes. [SFBJ]

$5 billion: Amount Amazon has promised to invest in construction spending for HQ2. In a press release announcing the search, the retail giant also mentioned its $38 billion impact on Seattle’s economy, pointing out how every dollar invested in its original hometown generated an additional $1.40 for the city’s overall economy. [NYT]

20-1: Odds of Miami/South Florida being selected for the HQ2 location, according to Irish online bookmaker PaddyPower.com – putting the region in the group with the smallest chances of being chosen. While Miami has certain advantages over its competitors, most observers consider it a surprise that it was included in the top 20. [WLRN]

This column is produced by the Master Brokers Forum, a network of South Florida’s elite real estate professionals where membership is by invitation only and is based on outstanding production, as well as ethical and professional behavior.