On January 18, twenty cities including Denver found out that they were finalists for Amazon's planned second headquarters. The Internet retailer would bring 50,000 new jobs and at least $5 billion in investments to the winner.
But there are inevitable downsides to such a big company moving into town, including the stress that its workforce would add to any housing market, including Denver's, which is already struggling under staggering population growth that has occurred over the last decade. Readers are mixed about Amazon picking Denver as a finalist. Says Julie:
I feel the same ambivalence about Amazon as I do about the Olympics. It would kickstart some needed projects, but would only compound older problems.
Gee great! Will this just benefit corporations and capitalists? Any chance that some of that money will "trickle down" into education or health care? Hickenlooper might as well be a Republican.
Adam sees the bright side:
You guys understand, 50k people isn’t that many. Plus, why do you equate 50k jobs to 50k transplants? I guarantee a large number of those jobs go to already Colorado residents. As far as housing, not sure this will make it go up much. Seattle isn’t much higher than Denver at this point - can’t imagine it surpassing Seattle.
Historically, the incentives (i.e. bribes) cities give to business to woo them essentially nullify the advantages the company's presence creates. Amazon will go with whoever gives them the best bribe, virtually assuring that there will be no real benefit from the deal. It is simply a way for a politician to get a feather in their cap. Hickenlooper wants national office, and this is a way for him to say he's a good wheeler-dealer. So we get more people on the low end of the wage scale, increased traffic, and no real boost to the economy. I would vote no.
Hmm, housing & rent prices will go up, you say? We bought our house in 2001, survived 2008 comfortably....and now have about $75k to pay off. Our house is already worth about $225k. If this happens, my house's value may go up even more! Color me happy! Buying land in a sunny, tropical, foreign paradise, building a house there & retiring might become a thing sooner rather than later
If this happens, it'll be the kiss of death I really will have to leave Denver.
Keep reading for more of our stories about Amazon.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Westword's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Denver's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
The other locations on the short list: Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, Montgomery County (Maryland), Nashville, Newark, New York City, Northern Virginia, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, Toronto and Washington D.C.
The deadline for proposals was mid-October, 2017; 238 were submitted to Amazon. Colorado sent a single proposal that included eight potential sites. Among Amazon's requirements was proximity to a major airport, which meant that any Colorado site needed to be near Denver International Airport, ruling out cities such as Colorado Springs or Pueblo.
Amazon is expected to make its choice later this year. In the meantime, Denver residents will continue to debate what having Amazon come to town might mean. What do you think? Post a comment or email firstname.lastname@example.org.