HQ2

Tech giant Amazon has announced its long-list for a city to host its second American headquarters. It is perhaps a sign of the dominance of global tech companies that their choice of which city to grow in warrants a tender from the city government. However, there is a huge amount to play for. Amazon will invest $5bn and create up to 50,000 highly-paid jobs. For context, that’s about 50% of all economically active people in Hull and would revolutionise any UK city’s office market. How far will cities go to achieve this? Toronto offered to set up an Amazon helpdesk; Washington DC offered a 0% corporate tax rate for 5 years, Tucson, Arizona, offered a 21 ft cactus as a gift, whereas Stonecrest, Georgia, has reportedly offered to change its name to ‘Amazon, Georgia’. These are indicative of the kind of offers that UK cities will need to consider in the coming years (maybe not the cactus one), as fewer big occupiers roll out EMEA mega-campus tenders.