The race is on between cities and communities to put forward an appealing pitch to Amazon regarding its second headquarters. One Georgia community has a unique approach: make a new city just for Amazon.
The Stonecrest City Council voted 4-2 on Monday to de-annex 345 acres of land if the e-commerce giant picks the area for what the company calls HQ2, a corporate hub where Seattle-based Amazon says it will one day house 50,000 jobs…
“There are several major U.S. cities that want Amazon, but none has the branding opportunity we are now offering this visionary company,” said Stonecrest Mayor Jason Lary. “How could you not want your 21st century headquarters to be located in a city named Amazon?”
Amazon is seeking a 175-acre site located near an international airport, public transit and high quality of living. Lary said he hopes MARTA expands rail service to Stonecrest.
The proposed city of Amazon could enter into an agreement with the city of Stonecrest to provide city services, he said.
This would indeed present a unique opportunity for any large company. I could imagine a few stumbling blocks:
- Naming a community after your company could have some cool features but also might have drawbacks. If something goes wrong in Amazon, Georgia, is it automatically the company’s fault?
- Would Amazon want its own community that is still beholden to its neighbor for city services? Providing all of your own infrastructure could be very expensive but working out deals for essential needs is not necessarily easy.
- Would Amazon want the perception of running a company town? This has tended not to work out well in the past. See Pullman as an older example or Facebook as a more recent effort.
I imagine there will be additional creative options proposed by other cities and places. Stay tuned.