The Research Triangle Regional Partnership, which is an association of economic developers, hopes this video they produced promoting life in the Triangle will help woo Amazon to the area. Research Triangle Regional Partnership
The Research Triangle Regional Partnership, which is an association of economic developers, hopes this video they produced promoting life in the Triangle will help woo Amazon to the area. Research Triangle Regional Partnership

Business

Latest effort to read Amazon tea leaves offers good news for just one NC metro

By Craig Jarvis

cjarvis@newsobserver.com

November 07, 2017 04:49 PM

UPDATED November 09, 2017 03:52 PM

The latest handicapping in the war between the states over who will win the contract for Amazon’s second headquarters is based on data analytics rather than slick promotional material and hunches. The Raleigh-Durham area is the only place in North Carolina to make the cut.

Or to put that another way: Charlotte lost out, again.

The commercial real estate data firm Reis, based in New York, has compared how various metro areas stack up against one another based on Amazon’s criteria, and Census, labor, and tax statistics.

“This challenge is as much an art as it is a science,” the Reis report authors write, “but few would argue that it requires the assemblage of significant data.”

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Reis found that large “tech-focused” cities scored the highest. The survey places New York City, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Seattle and San Jose at the top. But considering the likelihood that Amazon will select a site far from its Seattle headquarters, the report also places suburban Virginia, New Orleans and Boston high on the list.

A larger percentage of the labor pool, cultural amenities and access to higher learning bump those cities up, but some of them lose ground when the costs of living and doing business are factored in.

The Triangle made the top 25 list that Reis released at No. 23.

The Triangle scored low on public transportation and quality-of-life amenities, but did well on the costs of doing business and living, and access to higher education.

Charlotte wasn’t the only N.C. city that didn’t make list. The Triad area (Greensboro, Winston-Salem and High Point) and Hickory also were left off.

This isn’t the first time Raleigh has done better than Charlotte on an Amazon analysis. Earlier this year, The New York Times’ Upshot handicapped the cities, and while neither made the final cut, Raleigh made it into the top 9.

More than 200 cities and regions submitted proposals for Amazon’s second headquarters, which the company says will eventually bring more than 50,000 jobs and $5 billion in investment. The online retailer says it will decide next year.

This video is how Charlotte pitched itself to Amazon

Two weeks after Charlotte officials shipped a custom-made wooden box to Amazon in Seattle, they said Thursday that the materials inside emphasized the city’s appeal to millennials, “edgy” vibe and appealing lifestyle. This is the video they pitched.

Craig Jarvis: 919-829-4576, @CraigJ_NandO