Well this is it! The day that every city, state and municipality is responding to Amazon’s request for proposals for a second headquarters.

USA Today published a list of all those vying for it.

According to the BBC, when Amazon issued its request it cited several criteria:

  • Metropolitan areas with more than one million people
  • A stable and business-friendly environment
  • Close proximity to an international airport and major roads
  • Access to mass transit
  • Urban or suburban locations with the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent
  • Communities that think big and creatively when considering locations and real estate options

If you’ve been to a Whole Foods lately and seen the Amazon lockers, there should be no surprise that we are watching the very nature of retail change before our eyes. As corporate real estate professionals, we are quite possibly also seeing, at least in terms of publicity, a game changer in the way that companies seek their locations.

The cities are responding with their own attempts to sway the conversation through publicity. According to the BBC article, Tucson, Arizona sent Amazon a huge 21ft-tall cactus plant, while the Mayor of Kansas City purchased 1,000 items from the online retailer and left product reviews extolling the virtues of the city.

It’s a new game. Or…is it. Some experts we spoke with, say that Amazon may already have a short list of sites that it is considering. We’ll be tracking the search and collecting voices from the economic development community to weigh in.