From Yahoo Finance:
New York, San Francisco and Denver have all been heralded as the best city for Amazon’s new second headquarters, HQ2.
But what about Newark?
Yes, the city in New Jersey. The state, like many others trying to land the estimated 50,000 new jobs and $5 billion in investment, plans to submit a bid by the Oct. 19 deadline. And Newark is the state’s best chance of winning. If you peruse Amazon’s eight-page request for proposals, Newark meets all the minimum criteria outlined.
New Jersey’s largest city is accessible to tech talent (it’s home to New Jersey Institute of Technology, abuts Rutgers University, is about 60 minutes away from Princeton University, and is a brief commute from New York City’s major academic institutions), has an airport and several other transit links (train lines, interstate highways and ports), and maybe most importantly, has affordable shovel-ready sites for the eventual 8 million-square-foot, $5 billion complex that would rival Amazon’s Seattle headquarters.
“Newark has a world-class port and a depth of resources,” says Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff, former New Jersey state treasurer who wrote an opinion piece earlier this week touting Newark’s worthiness. “At the same time, it does not have the kinds of pricing pressures [real estate and living costs] that would be a barrier somewhere else.”
Amazon already has a foothold in Newark. In 2008, Amazon acquired Newark-based Audible, an online seller of audiobooks, for $300 million. It has since maintained the subsidiary’s headquarters there. In fact, Audible is redeveloping a historic church in the city for its new home.
And that’s just a fraction of Amazon’s presence in New Jersey. The company has taken more space there than in neighboring states New York or Connecticut. In the past five years, Amazon has built more than 5 million square feet of warehousing/distribution space and has 13,000 full-time employees in New Jersey, according to a report by Moody’s Investors Services.
While Newark is located north of these Amazon facilities, it could be an ideal location because it is going through somewhat of a revitalization. (In the past, Newark has been plagued by crime, poverty and high unemployment.) Some $2 billion worth of real estate development, including 2,000 units of housing, is planned or underway in the city.
Among those projects is developer Lotus Equity Group’s redevelopment of the Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium, which will be transformed into an 8-acre mixed-use project with office and housing.