A new study rates the Raleigh metro areas as 10th best among likely options for the new Amazon HQ2 project. However, the Triangle didn’t crack the top 10 of a new Wall Street Journal survey.

Sperling’s BestPlaces, which operates the bestplaces.net website and surveys areas based on livability issues, ranks Raleigh No. 10 in the study released Wednesday. BestPlaces based its rankings on an analysis of what it described as the 18 “most reputable” of various lists. (Surveys in The New York Times and Denver News Tribune ranked the Triangle No. 1.)

A Wall Street Journal study published in collaboration with real estate analytics firm Green Street Advisors doesn’t rate the Triangle as a top contender.

The news came a day after North Carolina’s Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership for North Carolina disclosed the launching a digital marketing and social media campaign that promotes the state as Amazon’s best choice.

In previous surveys and reports published since the Amazon second headquarters project was announced in October, the Triangle’s ranking has been as up-and-down as readings on a seismograph during an earthquake.

Atlanta is declared as the top choice in the BestPlaces survey. (Charlotte didn’t make the top 20. Neither did North Carolina’s other two options – the Triad and Hickory.)

Leading choices

The top 10:

1. Atlanta

2. Boston

3. Chicago

4. Philadelphia

5. Washington, D.C.

6. Austin

7. Dallas

8. Denver

9. New York City

10. Raleigh

The Wall Street Journal gives the nod to Dallas followed by Boston, Washington. D.C.-Atlanta-Seattle in a tie for third, then Chicago, Denver, New York and Nashville in an, tie, Austin, Minneapolis and Newark.

BestPlaces says the WSJ report didn’t change its ranking.

Yet which city will win is really anyone’s guess as more than 230 RFPs are dissected by Amazon in its search for a best deal. No winner is expected to be announced before next year.

Tales of the unexpected

“Experts are clearly favoring Atlanta, according to our analysis,” said Bert Sperling of Sperling’s BestPlaces. “Boston and Chicago are close behind, but Amazon may very well make an unexpected pick for their new HQ2.

“As several pundits have pointed out, finding a metropolitan area that meets all Amazon’s criteria is not only difficult, but impossible. And the HQ2 project is such a massive scale, that it can transform an area, adding missing infrastructure to meet its needs. In this unique case, conventional thinking may be a disadvantage. I expect to be surprised.”