According to multiple media outlets, Atlanta is no longer in the running for Amazon’s second headquarters.
Amazon won’t confirm if the rumors are true that Northern Virginia, Dallas and New York City are the top contenders for its second campus, possibly even splitting the coveted headquarters between multiple cities.
Atlanta had been included on the shortlist of 20 metro areas for the new site of Amazon’s second headquarters, and Amazon already has fulfillment and customer service centers in Georgia that employ thousands.
It leases space and built new facilities in Jefferson, Union City, Lithia Springs, Lawrenceville, Braselton and Macon.
During a press conference Monday, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said he wouldn’t be surprised if Atlanta didn’t get the second headquarters, but he said he’s pleased it’s still technically in the running.
Amazon has fulfillment and customer service centers in Georgia that employ thousands. The company opened a new center last month in Lawrenceville. (Tasnim Shamma/WABE)
“It’s never over until the fat lady sings, and I ain’t found a fat lady yet that’s willing to sing,” Deal said. “We’re not going to have our hearts broken if they decide to go somewhere else. We’re still the No. 1 state to do business.”
But placing 50,000 employees at once puts a big strain on housing, traffic and rental prices, Georgia State University business professor Ken Bernhardt said.
“We maybe dodged a bullet,” Bernhardt said. “It’d be much better to get that kind of growth over a few years coming from a variety of companies spread throughout the metropolitan area, which is what has been happening.”
“When you put that many people in one place, you’re adding a lot to the congestion, adding to stress on housing and rental prices, so there’s some downsides,” Bernhardt said.
But he said, what Atlanta did get out of it, at least, was a lot of free publicity.
About 200 cities and counties competed for the second headquarters and offered large tax breaks for Amazon to come to their region.
A decision is expected to be made public before the end of 2018.