Economy Watch: Meta-Ranking of Amazon HQ2 Race Puts Atlanta on Top

Sperling's BestPlaces collected 18 lists and ranking of potential locations, determining that Atlanta's ability to absorb an expected 50,000 workers and other factors make it the No.1 contender for the new Amazon headquarters.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder & CEO
Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder & CEO

Bids to be the home of Amazon’s second headquarters, HQ2, have been in for a few weeks, but the speculation—and educated guesses—roll on.

The latest prediction about when the retail giant will land came on Wednesday from Sperling’s BestPlaces, which collected 18 lists and rankings of potential Amazon HQ2 locations. Using those rankings, the company did a meta-analysis and tallied how each of 65 locations performed.

According to Sperling’s calculations, Atlanta will snag Amazon HQ2. Atlanta was cited by many studies and articles as being large enough to absorb the expected 50,000 new Amazon workers, having a major airport and boasting a reasonable cost of living. Next on the rankings are Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia.
The longest of the long shots, according to the meta-ranking, include Grand Rapids, Mich; Ottawa, Canada; Riverside, Calif., Newark, N.J; and Vancouver, B.C.

Among other rankings, Sperling’s used Moody’s Analytics, Anderson Economic Group, The New York Times, Reis, GeekWire, CNN and the Everest Group to calculate its ranking. The retail giant will announce the winner sometime in 2018.

Interestingly, the list hews somewhat close to Irish bookmaker Paddy Power’s odds for the location of Amazon HQ2. According to the oddsmaker, Atlanta is the favorite at 3/1, followed by Austin, Boston and Toronto. Way down on its favorite list are Vancouver and Ottawa at 50/1 and 80/1, respectively.

Image courtesy of Amazon