Speculation is rampant over what metro areas hold the most allure for a second Amazon headquarters and the project’s $5 billion investment along with 50,000 jobs. Here are some leaders, based on media and other reports.

[Check links with this post for WRAL TechWire’s stories published earlier about the Amazon feeding frenzy.]

  • Steve Goldstein, Marketwatch

“[O]ur finalist list for Amazon’s second headquarters: Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Bridgeport, Denver, New York, Provo, Raleigh, Tampa and Washington.Amazon on Thursday announced it was looking for another city to host what it calls its second headquarters.”

Goldstein reviewed Amazon’s RFP requirements and compared a variety of metro area statistics to compile his list.

A big one is talent.

[U]rban or suburban locations with the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent.” To meet this Amazon requirement, a metro area had to meet one of two screens — either the largest percentage of professional, management and scientific jobs, or the largest percentage of workers in management, business, science and arts. Both were taken using the three-year average to 2015 from the American Community Survey.

This requirement “cuts the list to San Francisco; Raleigh, N.C.; San Jose, Calif.; Provo, Utah; Denver; Boston; Austin, Texas; San Diego; Washington, D.C.; Atlanta; New York and Tampa. Seattle, again, would’ve made the list. Austin also has the advantage of being headquarters of Whole Foods, which Amazon recently acquired.”

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​Seattle Times

The hometown newspaper of Amazon doesn’t rate the Triangle among the contenders. Austin gets high marks.

“Austin’s up-and-coming technology startup scene and liberal-leaning, laid back vibe has drawn comparisons to Seattle. The cost of living is relatively low and, like Washington state, Texas doesn’t have an income tax,” the newspaper says.

The Times cites as well the Austin-Whole Foods-Amazon conntection.

Then there is CEO Jeff Bezo.

“Texas is also where Bezos spent part of his childhood and has family roots; the western tip of the state is home to the billionaire’s more than 150,000 acres.”

Also on the Times list:

  • Boston
  • Denver
  • New York City
  • Pittsburgh
  • San Francisco
  • Toronto

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USA Today

The national daily says Canada has appeal also also calls out Detroit as well as Atlanta.

“[A]ffordable metro areas such as Detroit and Atlanta have more room for corporate expansions, he says. In Chicago, another affordable metro area, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has already pitched the city to Bezos, according to the Chicago Sun-Times”

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