Amazon narrows list of cities for HQ2 to 20, Rochester misses cut

January 18, 2018 05:39 PM

Well, we knew it was a long shot. 

But Thursday Amazon said Rochester did not make the cut for its second world headquarters. 


It came down to size. 

The average population of the metro areas on Amazon's top 20 list is 5.7 million. 

The population of metro Rochester and Buffalo, which did a joint bid, is 2.3 million. 

Matt Hurlbutt, Greater Rochester Enterprise: 'Honestly I'm disappointed."
Matt Hurlbutt is the CEO of Greater Rochester Enterprise. He was the tip of the spear for the Rochester Buffalo bid. 

Berkeley Brean: "Why do you think we didn't make the list? Is there a reason why we didn't make the list? 
Matt Hurlbutt, Greater Rochester Enterprise: "Well, I'd have to get some feedback from them today. They just published it. I think we will have some interaction with them."
Berkeley Brean: "But what's your thought?" 
Hurlbutt: "Well, when you look at the list of cities they're very large. That's my first reaction."
And all if not most of the Top 20 cities have access to airports with significant international flights which Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce CEO Bob Duffy said was a factor. 

Bob Duffy, Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce: "The international travel connections, that came up. That was one of (Amazon's) criteria."
Hurlbutt says he talked with Amazon but no one from the company made a visit to Rochester. He wouldn't release the actual bid to Amazon which included what Rochester and New York State was willing to offer. 

Berkeley Brean: "What kind of incentives were you willing to give Amazon to come here in terms of cost?"
Matt Hurlbutt, Greater Rochester Enterprise: "I can't really get into that. That's a competitive situation. I'm not able to disclose what the state of localities offered."
Every city and state signed a non-disclosure agreement with Amazon. Hurlbutt says as far as he's concerned, he's still bound by it. 

Berkeley Brean: "Recently Apple said it's interested in building a new headquarters. Are you going to apply for that?" 
Matt Hurlbutt, Greater Rochester Enterprise: "We will certainly be engaged as that process moves forward. And we're hopeful on that and many other fronts." 

We've reported on what we call the Amazon-effect. That means more business interest based on the Rochester Buffalo bid. Hurlbutt says he experienced the busiest December for his agency during his tenure and he said three CEO's made site visits to Rochester this week. 

The State Department of Labor published a jobs report Thursday. From December 2016 to December 2017, Rochester and Buffalo lost a combined 8,100 jobs. 

The remaining 20 cities up for Amazon's second headquarters are:

  • Atlanta, GA
  • Austin, TX
  • Boston, MA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Columbus, OH
  • Dallas, TX
  • Denver, CO
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Miami, FL
  • Montgomery County, MD
  • Nashville, TN
  • Newark, NJ
  • New York City, NY
  • Northern Virginia, VA
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Toronto, ON
  • Washington D.C.



Berkeley Brean

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