Amazon Bypasses Detroit For New Headquarters

Guess all that excitement was for nothing, sadly.

Amazon’s hype toward picking the second headquarters has fallen flat on Detroit, moving forward without the city being in their finalist picks.

All the excitement boiled down to them picking 20 finalists, which according to ‘The New York Times’ are the following:

“Atlanta; Austin, Tex.; Boston; Chicago; Columbus, Ohio; Dallas; Denver; Indianapolis; Los Angeles; Miami; Montgomery County, Md.; Nashville; Newark; New York; Northern Virginia; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; Raleigh, N.C.; Toronto; Washington, D.C.”

NYT says that the company sifted through 238 applications and that the jobs count would have flew up to 50,000 extra for the city that was chosen.

It’s an unfortunate loss, especially with any tax breaks that would have come with a win.

Some of the criteria that Amazon was looking for in regards to how they were choosing finalists included a metropolitan area, a population greater than one million, technical talent, and more, but there are many factors as to why Detroit probably didn’t make the cut.

While we did a joint bid with Windsor that offered tax breaks, cheap labor, and more, one that included an entire remodeling of Detroit’s Riverfront and 30 years without paying real estate taxes, somehow we still missed out. But why?

The consensus seems to be that we just aren’t up to par when it comes to transportation and infrastructure of Detroit itself. Even with the infancy of the QLine rolling down Woodward, it’s just not enough public transportation to make worthwhile.

‘Quartz’ notes that one of the other main plots for HQ2 was needing access to rail, train, subway and bus routes in their qualifications, which is something we sorely lack because we are the “Motor City.” Having these smaller transport systems such as the QLine or the People Mover wasn’t going to cover the type of desire that Amazon had for their new home.

Though we landed well with having an airport nearby, daily direct flights to the West Coast were also probably going to be an issue, or super expensive, since flying anywhere that’s not Chicago seems to cost an arm and a leg from Detroit Metro.

Also, the general cost of living is great, but crime statistics…not so much.

We could speculate all day on what worked and what didn’t for Amazon executives, but right now, we’re sure that Mayor Mike Duggan and Dan Gilbert are probably feeling the sting of rejection, though Duggan did release an admirable statement on the matter, quoted by Crains:

“We would have loved to have made it into the next round for Amazon’s second headquarters but everyone here is incredibly proud of the proposal we submitted.  It showed a clear vision for the future of our city and brought out the very best of our city and our region,” he said in the statement.

“I want to thank Dan Gilbert, the Governor, County Executives, Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens and the entire bid team for an extraordinary effort in a short period of time.  We learned a great deal from this process and it was a very valuable experience.  We’re going to keep building on the progress we’ve made and keep pursuing major developments.   I expect that the lessons we learned in the Amazon process will help make us more successful on a number of other major potential investments that we are currently pursuing.

“We’re going right back to work today to work on those other projects.”

UPDATE: Dan Gilbert released a statement.

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