These are the top 5 contenders for Amazon’s HQ2, according to Bank of America (AMZN)


  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch revealed its top five picks for Amazon‘s HQ2 project.
  • Atlanta, Georgia; Denver, Colorado; Washington, DC; Boston, Massachusetts; and Raleigh, North Carolina, all made the list.
  • HQ2 will have drastic economic impacts on the chosen city.

The race is on for Amazon‘s second headquarters project.  

According to Bank of America’s analytics, the top contenders are currently Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Colorado, Raleigh, and Washington, DC. DC’s inclusion on the list also includes Montgomery County, Maryland, and Northern Virginia. These results are in alphabetical order and are not ranked otherwise.

Amazon released a short list of 20 cities it was still considering in January. 

Bank of America considered two factors in choosing the cities: how closely each city mirrors Seattle, and how attractive the city’s financial, employment, education, business, housing, transportation, and innovation sectors are. 

Both methodologies were ranked equally, and a composite score was awarded, which is how Bank of America arrived at the top five cities.

The analysts judged each factor equally, as Amazon hasn’t given too much information about how it will rank each one when considering cities. One thing that could potentially sway Amazon’s favor is the tax benefits and incentives each city will offer, which are being negotiated behind closed doors at this stage of the game and aren’t available to the public for ranking.

Amazon’s HQ2 project is one of the most closely watched business endeavors in America right now. And for good reason, as the chosen city stands to inherit a bevy of benefits, like $5 billion in local investment and 50,000 new jobs.

Looking at credit-card data, Bank of America found that Seattle’s retail sales, excluding cars and gas, grew 30% from 2011 to 2017, while nationally the average rate of growth was only 21% over that period. Both airlines and car dealerships operating out of the five cities identified by Bank of America stand to gain substantially, the bank noted.

A study funded by the state of Maryland found that HQ2 could have economic effects of up to $17 billion a year on the state once everything is up and running.

SEE ALSO: The evidence is piling up that Amazon will choose Washington, DC, for its HQ2

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