Amazon announced Thursday, September 7, 2017 that they intend to build a second headquarters outside of Seattle to the tune of $5 billion and adding up to 50,000 new jobs.
Like a hot new debutante on ABC’s The Bachelorette, Amazon laid out some ground rules and told all prospective cities to duke it out for her honor.
And, yes, Portland is a suitor trying to steal Amazon’s heart.
Despite Portland’s reputation as Silicon Forest with its ever-growing technology startup scene and several companies keeping a presence here (most notably among them, Intel, of course), Portland often gets passed up when new tech opportunities come into play.
For example, we’ve been chomping at the bit for Google Fiber, Google’s 1GB internet service (imagine all the
porn Amazon Prime Video and Netflix you could stream!), for years, however Google remains in a holding pattern claiming to be “exploring bringing Fiber to Portland.” By the way, if you’re interested in Google Fiber, click that link and put in your street address so they’ll know you’re out there.
How does Portland stack up?
So, what will it take for Amazon to consider Portland? Here’s the list of demands, erm, “criteria,” Amazon set forth to potential applicants:
- A metro area with more than 1 million residents. Portland has 2.4 million (!!!), so we’ve got this item licked.
- A stable and business-friendly environment. According to the Oregonian, Oregon has some of the lowest business taxes in the nation.
- An urban or suburban area with the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent. Well, we can’t speak to the strong technical talent, but no one can argue that Portland is where young people come to retire, right?
- A community that thinks big and creatively on potential sites. Stumptown has an air-tram just to take patients and medical staff from the parking lot to our hospital! How much more creative can you get?
Where does Portland fall short?
What are Portland’s warts and unsightly character traits that might prevent us from getting the girl?
- We’re too close to Seattle. Portland and Seattle have had a sibling rivalry for as long as they’ve existed, and this isn’t helping matters. It’s highly likely that Amazon wants to have a second headquarters somewhere with some distance from their first home, if for no other reason but to access more of the country.
- Amazon needs a ton of space – think 56 Costco warehouse stores worth! Although this might be tricky in Portland Proper, our wacky little neighbor to the north, Vancouver, Washington, is brimming with opportunity featuring a 174-acre former Hewlett-Packard campus lying dormant. However, will Amazon want both its headquarters located in the same state?
- Amazon already has a presence in Portland. You might not know it, but Amazon already has a presence here – Amazon Web Services bought Portland’s own startup, Elemental Technologies, a few years ago. This could either be a positive or a negative, so we’re going to put it in the negative column – we’re pessimists, what can we say?
When’s this going down?
When’s this all coming together? Amazon wants a super-quick turnaround and has told all applicants they’ve got just six weeks to submit bids. We’ll find out soon enough!
Do you want Portland to win the girl or do you think she’s not good enough for us? Leave your own dating profile for the City of Portland in the comments!