Written by Larry Dietz, CCIM, Associate Broker for Saurage Rotenberg Commercial Real Estate

With the recent announcement by Amazon / Jeff Bezos of Amazon’s proposed 2nd U.S. headquarters (HQ-2), cities around the U.S. have been falling all over themselves in their desire to submit proposals. This is certainly understandable, at least at first glance. Many consider this opportunity to be the biggest and best potential corporate “gift” available in years to any state. Initially, all the hype appears to be true, with idealistic visions of high-paying jobs and millions of dollars in potential re-investment in the community.

However, there is another side to landing Amazon HQ-2. I thought it would be insightful to provide a couple of stories on this, hence the attached links below. They certainly provide some perspective.

Let me provide one other thought; instead of Amazon concentrating on already high-performing, successful metropolitan areas, ie: Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, etc.; what if Jeff Bezos / Amazon looked at the impact that HQ-2 could make in a metropolitan area like Detroit? A city that several years ago declared bankruptcy; a city that epitomizes urban blight in the minds of many; a city where, in one report, over 40% live below the poverty line.

What kind of impact could Amazon make on a community like Detroit? It would be incredible. What an amazing statement this would be by Jeff Bezos / Amazon should they consider this possibility. Of course, realistically, it could only happen if Amazon would forego some of the millions of dollars in “free money” and commit to a truly idealistic approach in assisting a large urban community.

“Winning Amazon’s New Headquarters Could Come With Hidden Costs”   Time

“Memo to civic leaders: Don’t sell out your cities for Amazon’s new headquarters”  – Los Angeles Times

Larry Dietz, an associate broker with Saurage Rotenberg Commercial Real Estate, has over 30 years of Sales, Marketing and Public Relations experience.  He is a Designee member of the Certified Commercial Investment Member Institute (CCIM) and CCIM Louisiana Chapter; a member of the Commercial Investment Division of the Greater Baton Rouge Board of REALTORS® (CID); as well as an affiliate member of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).  He is a licensed real estate broker in Louisiana and Mississippi. 

Saurage Rotenberg Commercial Real Estate is a member of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber of Commerce (BRAC); the West Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce; the Baton Rouge Better Business Bureau; the Louisiana Commercial Data Base (LACDB); and the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Several agents, on an individual basis, are members of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors® (SIOR), the Certified Commercial Investment Member Institute (CCIM); the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR); and the Greater Baton Rouge Association of REALTORS® Commercial Investment Division (CID).