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  #1761  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2018, 6:34 PM
wonshirim wonshirim is offline
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1. The Gulch


2. Amazon's Seattle HQ


They're both adjacent to Downtown. Oddly similar.
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  #1762  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2018, 6:43 PM
skyscraperpage17 skyscraperpage17 is online now
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Originally Posted by wonshirim View Post
Your definition of CBD is extremely narrow. So Midtown is "urban" but not a central business district?
The definition is and should be narrow IMO, as it specifically refers to the commercial center of the city.

Think about it, if you play too fast and loose with the definition and start considering all areas adjacent to downtown the "CBD," then soon we'll be calling all areas adjacent to the adjacent areas the "CBD" and so forth until eventually the term becomes meaningless as now you're practically referring to the entire city as the "CBD." I'd rather not go down that slippery slope.

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Originally Posted by wonshirim View Post
As for Philadelphia and Chicago, it's pretty clear by now they're out. So I don't see why it's worth mentioning them at this point.
Only Amazon knows if they're definitely in or out. We're just guessing. I actually have them as 2 of my top 4 finalist, along with Dallas and Atlanta, as they're also strong candidates *overall* (though slightly weaker than Atlanta and Dallas)
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  #1763  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2018, 7:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skyscraperpage17 View Post
The definition is and should be narrow IMO, as it specifically refers to the commercial center of the city.

Think about it, if you play too fast and loose with the definition and start considering all areas adjacent to downtown the "CBD," then soon we'll be calling all areas adjacent to the adjacent areas the "CBD" and so forth until eventually the term becomes meaningless as now you're practically referring to the entire city as the "CBD." I'd rather not go down that slippery slope.



Only Amazon knows if they're definitely in or out. We're just guessing. I actually have them as 2 of my top 4 finalist, along with Dallas and Atlanta, as they're also strong candidates *overall* (though slightly weaker than Atlanta and Dallas)
S-17 early on you also said Detroit had a good chance and how did that work out for you?
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Last edited by Atlanta3000; Sep 20, 2018 at 7:26 PM.
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  #1764  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2018, 7:35 PM
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I figured out why Amazon is not interested in the Schuylkill site. Because nobody knows how to pronounce it or spell it.

J/K - the fact is the whole site needs to be built over damn railroad tracks. Do you know how long that would take and how much it would cost? I'll give you a hint - Hudson Yards has been under construction since 2005 an is expected to cost $20 Billion.



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Last edited by Atlanta3000; Sep 20, 2018 at 8:02 PM.
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  #1765  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2018, 8:12 PM
skyscraperpage17 skyscraperpage17 is online now
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Originally Posted by Atlanta3000 View Post
S-17 early on you also said Detroit had a good chance and how did that work out for you?
I reckon about as well as your predictions of a May 3rd - 11th and week of September 10th announcement from Amazon.
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  #1766  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2018, 9:36 PM
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Amazon, like most TAMI companies (notable exceptions include Salesforce), does not generally prefer heart-of-downtown trophy high-rises. Most of the giant office leases they've signed this year have been in downtown-adjacent locations: Seaport Square in Boston, Manhattan West in NYC, on Granville South in Vancouver.

The core of the SLU campus is a mid-rise area that was, ten years ago, mostly low-rise light industrial and parking lots. Only very recently has Amazon built >20 story buildings. The Seaport area of Boston and Manhattan West were similar areas -- yes, even that stretch of 10th Ave in NYC was mostly garages and storage yards. (The Manhattan West building that houses Amazon is the one with the angled walls in the photo just above.)

Amazon also has leased a large chunk of 525 Market in the middle of downtown SF, but SF is a uniquely constrained market and large-enough spaces in the tech-heavier SoMA area are nonexistent.

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Originally Posted by Atlanta3000 View Post
I figured out why Amazon is not interested in the Schuylkill site.... the fact is the whole site needs to be built over damn railroad tracks. Do you know how long that would take and how much it would cost? I'll give you a hint - Hudson Yards has been under construction since 2005 an is expected to cost $20 Billion.
Schuylkill Yards is currently surface parking lots and an old newspaper facility at street level, west of 30th Street Station. It is not the area over the tracks north of the station. The first phase began construction last fall, with the renovation of "One Drexel Plaza," an existing office building (built for the Bulletin), as laboratory space. It's the blocks right above "alamy stock photo" in your above image; in this image, the railyards that you've pictured are off to the right.

It's also not the only already under-construction large-scale project in University City; a few blocks west is uCity Square.

Those sites (also the proposed downtown adjacent sites in Chicago, like the Old Post Office) are vacant and have zoning and infrastructure ready, unlike... the Gulch site, which needs a 40-foot high, $500M platform to be built over railroad tracks. That's why CIM is asking for such a giant tax increment subsidy -- because they need it to proceed, quite unlike other sites.

Remember that the RFP explicitly says: "Amazon will prioritize certified or shovel-ready greenfield sites and infill opportunities with appropriate infrastructure and ability to meet the Project’s timeline and development demands... sites with the requisite access, utility infrastructure, and zoning are critical." A site that doesn't even have roads, and doesn't even yet have the funding to pay for building the roads, doesn't sound "shovel ready" to me.
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Last edited by paytonc; Yesterday at 7:01 AM.
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  #1767  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2018, 9:48 PM
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Originally Posted by skyscraperpage17 View Post
I reckon about as well as your predictions of a May 3rd - 11th and week of September 10th announcement from Amazon.
How dare you.

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  #1768  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2018, 10:39 PM
DMPHL DMPHL is offline
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Originally Posted by skyscraperpage17 View Post
. So to discount perfectly urban sites such as the one in Philadelphia because it's not downtown is unreasonable IMO.
Totally. I mean, the main site Philadelphia is proposing, Schulykill Yards, is about a 400 ft. walk from the "CBD." The area is developing as an expansion of Center City, and is sandwiched tightly between it and Drexel and Penn.

Not saying it's overall their best choice, but rapidly-developing directly adjacent outgrowth of the CBD, is about as central as you could get without building on top of Center City Philadelphia.
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  #1769  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2018, 4:34 AM
montydawg montydawg is offline
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Originally Posted by DMPHL View Post
Totally. I mean, the main site Philadelphia is proposing, Schulykill Yards, is about a 400 ft. walk from the "CBD." The area is developing as an expansion of Center City, and is sandwiched tightly between it and Drexel and Penn.

Not saying it's overall their best choice, but rapidly-developing directly adjacent outgrowth of the CBD, is about as central as you could get without building on top of Center City Philadelphia.
I travel to Philadelphia every week on Tuesday for a client there, and go through the 30th street station to get there. There is absolutely no buzz in the city among locals that they have a chance of getting HQ2, plus I don’t think Philadelphia has the IT population to compete with other cities. Nevertheless, skulkykill yards (I still have trouble with spelling and pronouncation) is a great location for HQ2. It is on top of the biggest train hub in Philadelphia (20 min train to airport, 1.5 hours to both NYC and DC) it is along the scenic river, the jewel greenway of the city, 10 minute walk to the CBD, plus there is plenty of land. The gultch in Atlanta is certainly an easier site to build on, but this site in Philadelphia is just as urban and even more connected to rail and bus than the Atlanta site. The 3 universities in the area are a great asset.

Also, I would not compare the building costs of anything in NYC to any other city. I have driven a large moving truck into NYC, and the only route from Jersey is the George Washington bridge- it is tricky delivering goods and labor to the city for any construction project.
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  #1770  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2018, 2:26 PM
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In today's story in the AJC, it looks like Governor Deal let the cat out of the bag. The article begins with Mayor Bottoms saying she cannot give the name of the Fortune 500 looking to locate to Atlanta. Cut to Governor Deal saying NFS needs the Gulch land sale closed as a precondition to locate to Atlanta.

So am I reaching here - this sounds like it has to be HQ2? Or at least another Fortune 500 company not NFS....right?

Atlanta City Council asserts itself as Gulch talks enter new phase
https://www.ajc.com/news/local-govt-...adYsdoj0PUNnM/

Quote:
And any delay, Bottoms said, would be “a deal breaker” for a Fortune 500 company that’s looking to relocate its headquarters in Atlanta, depending on what happens with the Gulch. She wouldn’t name the company.
Quote:
Norfolk Southern wants to sell its Gulch land as precondition for relocating from Virginia, Gov. Nathan Deal said Tuesday, urging council support.
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  #1771  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2018, 2:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Atlanta3000 View Post
In today's story in the AJC, it looks like Governor Deal let the cat out of the bag. The article begins with Mayor Bottoms saying she cannot give the name of the Fortune 500 looking to locate to Atlanta. Cut to Governor Deal saying NFS needs the Gulch land sale closed as a precondition to locate to Atlanta.

So am I reaching here - this sounds like it has to be HQ2? Or at least another Fortune 500 company not NFS....right?

Atlanta City Council asserts itself as Gulch talks enter new phase
https://www.ajc.com/news/local-govt-...adYsdoj0PUNnM/
It’s Apple.
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  #1772  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2018, 2:58 PM
GeorgiaPeanuts GeorgiaPeanuts is offline
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Yep if it were NFS she was referring to, then she would not be reticent to name drop since the Gov'nah had no problem saying their name.
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  #1773  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2018, 4:05 PM
skyscraperpage17 skyscraperpage17 is online now
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It’s Apple.
Wouldn't that be awesome if it were true? lol.
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  #1774  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2018, 4:44 PM
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Wouldn't that be awesome if it were true? lol.
Indeed
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  #1775  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2018, 10:54 PM
AlwaysMoving AlwaysMoving is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlanta3000 View Post
In today's story in the AJC, it looks like Governor Deal let the cat out of the bag. The article begins with Mayor Bottoms saying she cannot give the name of the Fortune 500 looking to locate to Atlanta. Cut to Governor Deal saying NFS needs the Gulch land sale closed as a precondition to locate to Atlanta.

So am I reaching here - this sounds like it has to be HQ2? Or at least another Fortune 500 company not NFS....right?
Correct me if I'm wrong, but every time the Mayor talks about the deal needing to get done she says...

The Gulch deal needs to be wrapped up because a fortune 500 relocation to Atlanta hinges upon it, but she never says the relocation is actually at the gulch.
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  #1776  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2018, 10:59 PM
AlwaysMoving AlwaysMoving is offline
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ATL3k,

I read today that Denver had a new project break ground called aerotropolis that will have 30 million sqft of office space.

connect the dots....

Amazon, Apple, and Google are all opening HQ2s in Denver! You heard it hear first!

Yeah, I couldn't resist.
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  #1777  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2018, 11:02 PM
skyscraperpage17 skyscraperpage17 is online now
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Originally Posted by AlwaysMoving View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong, but every time the Mayor talks about the deal needing to get done she says...

The Gulch deal needs to be wrapped up because a fortune 500 relocation to Atlanta hinges upon it, but she never says the relocation is actually at the gulch.
^^^Exactly.

The company for certain is Norfolk Southern.
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  #1778  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2018, 11:02 PM
skyscraperpage17 skyscraperpage17 is online now
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Originally Posted by AlwaysMoving View Post
ATL3k,

I read today that Denver had a new project break ground called aerotropolis that will have 30 million sqft of office space.

connect the dots....

Amazon, Apple, and Google are all opening HQ2s in Denver! You heard it hear first!

Yeah, I couldn't resist.
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  #1779  
Old Posted Yesterday, 4:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skyscraperpage17 View Post
The company for certain is Norfolk Southern.
CIM needs the subsidy package sealed before starting work on the Gulch. CIM's agreement to buy NS's land is probably contingent on getting the subsidy package, as the land/air rights continue to be worthless without that $500M deck. It is absolutely typical for land sales to be contingent upon getting approvals.

NS needs CIM to start on the Gulch before it can close on selling its Gulch land.

NS’s Gulch land needs to sell before NS can buy the Midtown HQ land, certainly because they need that cash and maybe due to 1031 exchange rules. (The capital gains taxes on land held that long would be onerous.)

If NS cannot sell the Gulch land, they cannot buy a new HQ building (or site).

That is how the headquarters relocation of a Fortune 500 corporation (Norfolk Southern) would be jeopardized if the Gulch deal falls apart. There has NOT been any mention that the "major economic development opportunity" is at stake; again, the MEDO language only holds out the possibility that the project could pursue further state/local subsidies.

But, but, but...
Maybe the mayor's office has signed an NDA with NS, but the governor's hasn’t.
Maybe NS is planning a kitchen-sink quarter (throwing a bunch of write-downs in) and needs a one-time gain to offset those.
Maybe the 27 acres quoted earlier didn’t include land from NS or the state.

As I wrote before (last September, actually), Amazon's very highest priority ("paramount importance") is finding a site that's ready to go. The Gulch, by contrast, is literally starting in a deep hole. It requires uncertain political machinations to get huge subsidies to start years of complicated construction just to get to that "OK, now we're ready for buildings" stage. That's why you don't see other cities arguing over subsidies to developers: their proposed sites are ready to go now, and don't require tax subsidies. They can instead subsidize the jobs directly, since the buildings are that much cheaper.
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Last edited by paytonc; Yesterday at 10:22 PM.
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