Handicapping Amazon's HQ2 Sweepstakes

Place your bets.
Last week Amazon announced plans to expand beyond its home in Seattle and spend $5 billion on a second headquarters—dubbed HQ2—that promises 50,000 jobs to some lucky North American city. The news and a once-in-a-generation opportunity sent civic leaders scurrying to shore up bids, including a joint proposal from the mayors of Indianapolis and Fishers. Here, experts make book on who’ll land the new home of the bookseller-turned-online-retail-giant:

  • How do you pick a second home? Start with a pros-and-cons list. [Indianapolis Business Journal/Jared Council]
  • In the “Olympics of corporate relocation” largely viewed through a political lens, Toronto takes home the gold. Boston and Washington D.C. medal. [Bloomberg/Conor Sen]
  • Despite its struggles, Chicago tops the index for a “transformational opportunity.” [CityLab/Aaron Renn]
  • “Amazon will ultimately make this decision based on where they can get a quality technical workforce at scale, especially one that has a concentration in a key area of expansion for the firm,” but that doesn’t appear to be Indianapolis, according to this list. [Brookings/Joseph Parilla]
  • A short-list topped by Austin, Denver, and Chicago. [Recode/Rani Molla]
  • Close but no rose: Indy makes it pretty far in this Bachelorette-esque winnowing of suitors, but drops out of contention when the “quality of life” filter—housing costs and amenities—leaves the city outside of the top ten finalists. [The New York Times/
  • Maybe it’s best Indy’s a longshot. An Amazon headquarters comes with rich people problems. “Amazon is about to detonate a prosperity bomb in your town.” [Business Insider/Leanna Garfield]