Sacramento ranks No. 59 on Amazon HQ2 contenders list

A new ranking of cities seeking Amazon’s second headquarters based on industry predictions from several sources puts Sacramento just inside the top 60

The only problem, however, is 64 cities submitted bids.

Best Places, which conducted the list is set to publish its ranking Wednesday, analyzes data and ranks all sorts of places.

"Trust us, it's going to be Atlanta," the ranking concluded, based on a study of the rankings and lists of 18 other sources, including Moody's, CNBC, CNN, Slate and the New York Times. The next two contenders on the list: Boston and Chicago.

The Best Places ranking for Sacramento  — No. 59 out of 64 — gave it a slightly better chance than a couple other cities, including Grand Rapids, Ottawa, Riverside, Newark, and Vancouver.

Amazon's request for bids identified key factors it would weigh, such as a population of more than 1 million, a nearby major airport, stable business climate, robust mass transit, an educated labor force, low cost of living and high quality of life.

"What they are proposing is so outside the scale of any sort of corporate relocation or anything that has been done before, they can't fit into an existing city," Bert Sperling, the founder of Sperling's Best Places in Portland, said. "It's going to take over the city just like they did in Seattle and folks in Seattle are kind of unhappy about the way Amazon has changed it. That's why Amazon is looking for something else."

Amazon got 238 bids from 43 states. A winner is expected to be named in 2018.

One state that didn't bid was Arkansas, home of Amazon competitor Walmart. Newark, which a Yahoo Finance editor touted as "perfect" for the HQ2, offered $7 billion in incentives to lure the retail juggernaut to New Jersey.

Still, Sterling, hedging his own list's prediction, said any city could still be Amazon's pick.

This past September, the New York Times published a blog ranking prospects for the Amazon office. Sacramento was eliminated relatively quickly because job growth was weak. 

Best Places ranking of cities

1.  Atlanta

2.  Boston

3.  Chicago

4.  Philadelphia

5.  Washington

6.  Austin, Texas

7.  Dallas

8.  Denver

9.  New York

10. Raleigh, N.C. 

11. Pittsburgh

12. Toronto

13. San Jose, Calif.

14. Salt Lake City

15. San Francisco

16. Minneapolis

17. Portland, Ore.

18. Nashville, Tenn.

19. Miami

20 Los Angeles

21. Baltimore

22. Detroit

23. Houston

24. Charlotte, N.C.

25. Phoenix

© 2017 Detroit Free Press


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