- Amazon received more than 200 proposals for their new headquarters as cities look to bolster their local economies.
- There are five Rust Belt cities in particular that would be a great fit for Amazon, considering economic developments over the past couple decades.
These are the so-called Rust Belt cities of Buffalo, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit and Pittsburgh, which meet a handful of criteria laid out by Sara Potter, a vice president and associate director of market analysis at FactSet.
First and foremost, each of those five locations have populations of 1 million or more, as well as a median home price that’s below the national average, and an unemployment rate that’s above it.
And with the exception of Chicago, they’re all declining manufacturing hubs that could use a shot in the arm. Further, Potter finds that population growth in each of the five cities has lagged the national average since 2010.
Screening the 238-city list for these attributes, she arrives at the Rust Belt quintet outlined above.
So what is it exactly about a massive Amazon headquarters that would help catalyze growth? To get an idea, look no further than what’s happened in the company’s original home of Seattle over the past 15 years.
Jobs have poured into the Seattle metropolitan area since Amazon began expanding in earnest in the early 2000s, and the population has surged in tandem. Since 2010, economic growth in Seattle has handily outpaced the national average and led to an increase in housing demand, according to data compiled by FactSet. And that has, in turn, driven home prices higher.
All cities being considered for the headquarters must not wait patiently, as the winning proposal won’t be revealed until next year. Ultimately, Amazon is going to make the decision that’s best for itself — and it remains to be seen if they will take the economic plights of the Rust Belt into consideration.
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