Barry Sternlicht Touts Boston, Southeast For Amazon HQ2
“I think Boston has a pretty good shot at that, given that it’s far away and the technology and infrastructure and the educational base and just the zeitgeist of the city,” Starwood Capital Group CEO Barry Sternlicht said to Bloomberg Television.
Sternlicht’s HQ2 predictions did not stop in the Northeast, as he also liked the prospect of an Amazon headquarters in either Atlanta or the Raleigh-Durham area. Atlanta’s transportation hub (the city’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is the world’s busiest) and affordability are frequently touted as key selling points for the Georgia city.
Boston and Atlanta are viewed as leading contenders in the competitive race across North America to land Amazon’s promised 50,000 jobs and 8M SF of office development. An Irish betting site gives Atlanta 3-to-1 odds in winning HQ2, while Boston and Austin are ranked next at 7-to-1 odds.
Boston, seen as a tech talent incubator thanks to its numerous universities, is one of 26 sites pushed forward by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Atlanta wielded influence in the HQ2 bid from Georgia, of which Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said they had put forward more incentives than ever before in the history of the city.
Amazon received 238 bids from cities across North America and is expected to make an official decision in 2018.