I was talking with a few event industry folks and the subject of Amazon came up. Amazon is currently seeking a location for its second headquarters. The competition between cities to attract the billion dollar company and the jobs it would bring is pretty stiff. Pittsburgh sent a bid and has been touted as a contender.
While the economic impact would be incredible should Pittsburgh be chosen, it would also transform our city in both positive and negatives ways. You can imagine how costs, and traffic would rise, but so would home values, jobs and investment.
Mr Rodgers neighbor might have Mr. Bezos moving in and buying up the block. You can debate the pros and cons on your own, but let’s take a look at the prospect.
Some of Amazon’s top officials have ties to Pittsburgh. Their CFO Brian Olsavsky went to CMU’s Tepper School of Business and his wife is from Pittsburgh. Jeff Wilke, CEO grew up in Pittsburgh. These guys are in the position to have serious input on the decision and could be hero’s in this city if Pittsburgh is the choice.
Pittsburgh has plenty of land available for such a project, it’s highly affordable , we have already attracted some innovative companies like Google, and Uber. Pittsburgh can offer highly skilled employees through our higher education facilities and provide them and stunning beautiful and affordable place to live and raise a family.
Our biggest downside is we are not the transportation hub we used to be. However, even that is beginning to change with new direct flights being offered. We also have an award-winning airport that is not at capacity and could easily adapt to expanding needs.
One of the reasons we base our national events out of Pittsburgh is because it’s relatively easy to get to a number of major cities. Cleveland, New York City, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Buffalo, Detroit, even Chicago. We can produce an event in those cities without having to be physically based in a high cost location. With a company like Amazon coming to town, any transportation issues to or from Pittsburgh would be quickly addressed.
I can’t say for sure what will happen, but we see some very exciting things on the horizon for this city with or without Amazon.