- Amazon recently announced its short list for its HQ2 contest.
- Atlanta keeps popping up in analysts’ reports of the most likely of the 20 shortlisted contestants to be picked for the e-commerce giant’s second headquarters.
- Still, it’s not a surefire bet.
Things are looking sunny for Atlanta.
In the first published report of analysis since Amazon’s official HQ2 short list came out, GBH Insights put Atlanta in the top spot. GBH weighted its picks according to what it seems Amazon truly values in a potential second headquarters, as inferred from trends apparent in the other 19 cities that were picked.
Amazon’s HQ2 is a massive project. Amazon has promised $5 billion in investment and 50,000 new jobs over the next 10 years for the city or region it chooses for its second headquarters. The 20 remaining candidates were selected from a pool of 238 cities and regions.
“In a nutshell, based on our analysis of key factors driving this major decision for Amazon, we believe Atlanta is the currently the leader of the pack,” the report reads.
But the fact that Atlanta is being seen as a frontrunner is nothing new. In an analysis of all the rankings of the cities — published by Sperling’s Best Places before Amazon’s short list announcement — Atlanta also came out on top, based on its consistently good placement in these rankings.
Business Insider confirmed this with our own analysis of other rankings, where Atlanta also came out on top.
In Moody’s Analytics pre-short-list study of the top cities, Atlanta came in a “very close” second to Austin. Moody’s said the city’s high degree of affordability, combined with its healthy economy and strength in tech and logistics, made it a strong contender. It’s also close to top universities and is on the East Coast of the US, not too far from Washington, DC — which seems to be a key factor for Amazon.
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