WRAL: One Goal of Amazon’s HQ2: Learn the Lessons of Growth in Seattle

When 10 representatives from Amazon visited the Denver area in late January, they did what you would expect from a company scouting for a place to put its second headquarters. They toured more than a half-dozen potential sites for a new campus and talked about the technical talent available in the area.

But they also did something that surprised local officials: Quiz them on how, if Amazon chooses to settle there, the company could avoid the problems it confronts in Seattle, the only hometown it has ever known.

[The Research Triangle area of North Carolina is one of 20 finalists identified for the project by Amazon, and Amazon officials recently did tour the Triangle to learn more about the region. As many as five sites were offered as possible locations for the HQ2 project.]

If Amazon moves in, bringing up to 50,000 high-paying jobs to town over time, how would the officials deal with traffic on its roads? And how would the company’s tax dollars contribute to the creation of affordable housing in the region?

“I think they feel in Seattle they’re the scapegoat every time there’s an issue in the community and traffic,” said Sam Bailey, vice president of economic development at the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp., which is managing the area’s bid for Amazon’s second headquarters.
— New York Times
Brent Woodcox