RALEIGH – A huge majority of Triangle residents participating in a new online poll want either Amazon HQ2 or Apple to come to the area even though numerous participants are concerned about the impact on housing, traffic and taxes. But a vocal minority is worried.
“God help us if Amazon moves here,” one reader wrote.
“Get ready for higher taxes, worse traffic, more expensive everything, and a generally declining quality of life.
“Please, please, don’t choose Raleigh.”
Such views represent a small minority, however.
A whopping 84 percent want either Apple or Amazon or both to come to the region.
Of those, 49 percent declare they want both.
Only 16 percent said they wanted neither.
Nearly 3,000 people have signed on to offer their thoughts on the big projects when WRAL TechWire launched the poll two days ago. And many have not been reluctant to share their thoughts about what it would mean if HQ2 with 50,000 jobs comes to Raleigh or Apple makes the expected decision that it will add several thousand jobs and build a new campus in RTP.
This new poll reflects a trend clearly established in an earlier and continuing readers’ poll about the Amazon HQ2 project has drawn nearly 30,000 participants with a big majority favoring HQ2 coming to the Triangle.
Among those wanting both is Fran Bishop of Wake Forest who was very excited to talk about the projects.
While some respondents are worried about the changes the projects would bring, Bishop stressed the positive.
Asked about the bad side effects, she agreed there would be – with a caveat.
“There will be housing and especially traffic issues,” she said, “but with proper planning it will be manageable.”
Words of warning
“Just a guy” knows both the Triangle and Seattle both, having grown up here before moving to Seattle five years ago. He offered some advice about what local and state leaders need to do should HQ2 or Apple or both pick the capital region:
“There will be a ‘cost’ to being chosen for HQ2. But, look at the upside. Home value appreciation, job income levels will rise, tax revenues will increase. I think it would be a great win for the area. I am pulling for RTP to secure this. But, I remind NC that if chosen, start building roads and schools ASAP.”
Following WRAL TechWire’s report Thursday that Amazon was considering Downtown Raleigh as its preferred site among possible Triangle locations, one reader posted at TechWire’s Facebook page:
“Well, if it happens … I’ll be going out in Durham instead.”
Yet another reader stressed the positive: “North Carolina needs this.”
Reader and viewer reaction posted through the poll site and in emails sent to TechWire were split in their comments even though most respondents want the deals to happen.
The readers and viewers speak
Some of the comments follow:
- “Apple is a much better fit, and we can absorb it. Not Amazon. We’re about IT [information technology], not logistics.”
- “I do a lot of work with advertising on Amazon, so it would be awesome to see Amazon launch its HQ2 in the Triangle! Plus it’s great news for all home owners!”
- “Our present roads and infrastructure cannot support the current population. There is no need to increase the burden on those of us trying to earn a living while we see no benefit from these Corporations.”
- “You think the housing shortages, housing prices and ridiculous traffic are bad now wait until Amazon shows up. Raleigh will be unrecognizable, most people will be priced out.”
- “Apple would be over by RTP near Morrisville. Amazon would be downtown Raleigh. And we would have a decade before both even came close to full employment. Plenty of time work on infrastructure and mass transit options…. Those are great jobs and will be a great boon for our area.”
Another reader is obviously aware of recent reports about Amazon’s fight with Seattle over taxes and how the growth of several big companies as well as Amazon have changed the city forever.
“Be careful what you wish for,” the reader said.
“Seattle is ruined.”
But a lifelong Raleigh resident sees the positive sides of the deals, declaring:
“I grew up in the Triangle area and it would be perfect for their needs. [You] have 3 major universities within 20 miles of each other an many tech schools ready to give them the talent they seek.”