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Survey: Experts say Amazon will pick Atlanta or N. Virginia for HQ2

Amazon announced in January that it had narrowed its finalists down to 20 cities for the site of its second headquarters.

Not much news has come across since, but Zillow — an online real estate database company — recently polled economic experts, college professors and housing economists to get their predictions on which city will win the bid for Amazon’s HQ2.

According to these experts, Jeff Bezos’ company will either pick Atlanta or the northern part of Virginia. The study says Amazon is interested in these two areas because Atlanta home values are well below the national average, and northern Virginia, which brushes up against Washington D.C., would put Amazon in the backyard of lawmakers.


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“The local jobs boom that Amazon’s HQ2 promises will spur demand for the full spectrum of housing types, ranging from urban apartments to suburban single-family homes,” Aaron Terrazas, a senior economist for Zillow, said in a statement. “Atlanta has the benefit of being one of the most affordable markets in the country, and is undergoing an urban renaissance with new public infrastructure providing attractive opportunities for employers seeking to lure young urbanites.”

Among the 20 cities on Amazon’s list, Atlanta has the fourth lowest home values and rents, according to the study. Amazon is expected to hire as many as 50,000 people for its HQ2.


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For the study, 85 housing and economic experts responded to Zillow. Atlanta was selected as the most likely location by 12 of them, as was Northern Virginia. Eleven experts picked Austin, Texas; and nine selected Raleigh, North Carolina. The remaining votes were spread across the other nominees.

Los Angeles, Newark, New York and Miami were the cities respondents said were the least likely to be chosen by Amazon because of housing costs, traffic and taxes.

This survey was conducted between Jan. 29 and Feb. 12, Zillow said, which was before Georgia senate leaders moved to punish Delta Air Lines for ending discounts for National Rifle Association members by removing a tax break on jet fuel from bill that would cut taxes. Delta is the state’s largest private employer.

Gov. Nathan Deal said the airline flap was not helpful, but he was confident that as the state courted Amazon the company would factor the state’s “good business climate” above all.

Read more on Delta, the tax cut bill and Georgia politics at Politically Georgia.


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