Amazon has cities dancing for HQ2.
Newark offered the company $7 billion-worth of tax breaks. Philadelphia promised up to 4.2 million square feet of development space for Amazon to stretch its legs. And the New York City skyline glowed orange one night in October to lure the company to its doorstep.
But Bostonians, according to a new survey, haven’t quite sipped the Amazon Kool-Aid. Despite the glitz, glamour, and promises that landing the office will supposedly bring (new jobs! local investment! bragging rights!), Hub residents are a little “meh” on the prospect.
According to a new report released by Elon University in partnership with the Business Journals, just 34 percent of Bostonians “strongly support” bringing HQ2 to the city—the lowest total among all 16 metro areas still in contention for landing the office. Additionally, the 22 percent of Hub dwellers who “neither support nor oppose” bringing Amazon to town compose the largest proportion of indifferent residents in any city that’s left in the race.
Still, despite the lack of extreme enthusiasm for landing HQ2, the vast majority of Bostonians view the prospect of the move in a positive light. Though 16 percent of residents said the company would be better off elsewhere, just 5 percent said they “somewhat” or “strongly oppose” moving Amazon’s HQ2 to the city, according to the Elon poll. Only Denver had a higher percentage of people who thought the e-commerce giant would be best served in a region other than its own.
If Amazon is looking to be the most popular kid at the lunch table, the study’s findings in Atlanta and Pittsburgh should pique their interest—52 percent of residents in both cities, “strongly support” winning the company’s second headquarters. Residents of Indianapolis, Chicago, and Columbus are collectively keen on the idea, as well, with around half of the people living in each city saying they “strongly support” HQ2 coming to town.
Amazon said it will announce its pick by the end of the calendar year.
Source URL: https://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/2018/04/19/amazon-hq2-perception-boston/
Copyright ©2019 Boston Magazine unless otherwise noted.