CCIM Institute Chief Economist K.C. Conway, in partnership with the Alabama Center for Real Estate, released a special report entitled “ Amazon HQ2: A Reset Button for Site Selection,” which examines the process used to narrow its large field of contenders and its implications for other corporate relocations.
The special report analyzes Amazon ’s easterly growth due to the remaking of North America’s supply chain, retail disruption, the growth of e-commerce, and focus on workforce availability. This focus on markets in the East and Central U.S. is consistent with a key finding in CCIM Institute's report: East is the new West for growth.
“Companies may follow the Amazon process for corporate relocations and expansions,” says Conway. “For midsize companies, this could also become a method of economic development.”
Of the 20 finalists chosen by Amazon , only four of the metros are in the Western U.S. (Los Angeles, Denver, Austin, and Dallas). The other 16 are in the Central or Eastern U.S. — and three of those 16 markets are essentially the Washington, D.C., MSA. Therefore, Amazon 's selection list is down to four markets in the West, four in the Central U.S./Canada (Toronto, Columbus, Indianapolis, and Chicago), and nine in the East (Atlanta; Washington, D.C./Northern Virginia/Montgomery County; Miami; Raleigh, N.C.; New York; Boston; New Jersey; Philadelphia; and Pittsburgh).
For Amazon , this trend can also be viewed as “the common-sense business reason” — a company follows its customer growth. In 2017, most of Amazon 's business customers resided outside of the Western U.S. (860,000 business customers in the West led by California, Washington, and Texas; and 1.39 million in the Eastern and Central U.S. led by New York, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C./Northern Virginia).
An analysis of the most recent CY 2016 and Q3 2017 MSA and state-level GDP and job growth data by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Bureau of Economic Analysis reveals that the top MSAs in GDP and job growth are all on Amazon 's list of 20 finalist metros.
The white paper covers:
“A thinker and a futurist, Conway brings a valuable perspective that sets him apart from other industry economists,” says 2018 CCIM Institute President David P. Wilson, CCIM.
The full report can be downloaded for free here.
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