Vancouver’s bid to house Amazon’s second headquarters given green light

Amazon wants to build a second HQ in North America and Canada wants in. Marketing and branding expert Tony Chapman offers his thoughts.

Vancouver’s bid for Amazon’s second North American headquarters is good to go ahead of a Thursday deadline for cities to apply to provide a home for the city.

The Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC) is in charge of the application but is keeping tight-lipped about the proposal until after the deadline.

But the city has pros and cons in terms of its potential for Amazon’s new HQ, said CKNW business analyst Robert Levy.

WATCH: Canadian cities eager to bid for Amazon’s new HQ

Canadian cities eager to bid for Amazon’s new HQ
Canadian cities eager to bid for Amazon’s new HQ

“Amazon did talk about how they wanted cities with good networks for flying in and out of the city, so a good airport, we do have that,” he said.

“But the outer reach aspect of Vancouver is that it’s not very open in terms of an affordable housing market. If you think of other young tech hubs in the U.S., like Dallas or Boulder, Colorado, where a city might be that much more approachable.”

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Vancouver ticks off several requirements for Amazon’s HQ2 including a good airport network, access to transit routes and a stable, business-friendly environment.

READ MORE: Vancouver makes bid to host Amazon’s new headquarters

“I mean they’ve got to drive people to this market also,” levy said.

“So if you’re a potential worker and you get to decide between a city like Dallas or Vancouver and you can say that you can buy a house in Dallas and support a family of four for half a million dollars or $2 million in Vancouver or East Vancouver, that might influence a worker’s decision.”

Amazon said its new HQ could attract as many as 50,000 new jobs.

Levy said Canadian cities are much more attractive than the U.S. right now because of controversy around recruiting international talent.

But a major downside to Vancouver is that Amazon’s original HQ is just across the border in Seattle.

Toronto, Edmonton and Halifax have also expressed interest.

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