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Howes: Detroit offers a mixed bag for Amazon HQ2

amazon seattle headquarters
Manuel Bahamondez H
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The newest wing of Amazon's Seattle headquarters under construction. The company is looking to build a second headquarters.

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In the Detroit News today, columnist Daniel Howes examined whether Detroit has the leadership to land the much talked about Amazon HQ2, a second headquarters for the massive online retailer.

Amazon’s $5 billion investment would result in around 50,000 jobs, with an average compensation of $100,000 a year.

“You’re looking at a potential economic boon the likes of which few communities ever see,” said Howes.

But there are plenty of hurdles for Detroit to jump over, he said.

“The timeline is really, really tight” with Amazon only providing two months for submissions to their request for proposals. The deadline for Detroit to make its pitch is October 19.

Further, the recent vote by Detroit residents to turn down regional transit may come back to haunt the city since it’s one of Amazon’s requirements. Howes believes it’s a concern, but the city’s residents may decide to support transit before the headquarters is actually built.

Plus, Howes said, Detroit has a lot in its favor: the city is spread out, so Amazon would have more options to build their headquarters, and it has an “aggressive” business community that has been tested by hard times.

Listen above for the full conversation with Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes.

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