This week in Amazon-o-mania: ‘Hunger Games’ of economic development gets a bashing | Amazon

This week in Amazon-o-mania: 'Hunger Games' of economic development gets a bashing | Amazon

Amazon lost control of its HQ2 story in this 61st week since it announced it was looking for a second headquarters to house as many as 50,000 new employees, or two cities with 25,000 each. Dallas, according to some reports, is still in the running for the $5 billion investment, but most urbanists and economic development experts have decided that the fork in the road leads to Washington, D.C., and New York City.

It was leak week with a vengeance as the Hunger Games of economic development appears to be nearing a close. It was also a week of no more mincing words about all the issues that were explored to death over the past 14 months as hopeful cities felt let down. 

The HQ2 search was compared to “a cruel tournament” or like “getting a marriage offer along with a confession of infidelity” in a guest opinion column in The New York Times by a New York State Assembly member and a Fordham University professor. The piece also criticized New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo for offering incentives to Amazon at the expense of its shopkeepers. “New York City is the heart and soul of the truly independent small business: idiosyncratic merchants that are rooted in their communities, making life rich, beautiful and chaotic for all New Yorkers.”

Richard Florida, University of Toronto professor and co-founder of CityLab, said Amazon “has played cities like a fiddle, crowd-sourcing reams of information and compiling what is likely North America's best site selection database.”

New York University professor Scott Galloway, an early predictor of an East Coast winner, said, “Amazon's HQ2 search was not a contest but a con,” adding that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos always was going to pick a place where he already owned homes. 

And yours truly, I'm trying to sell a story to The Onion about how the cities that make up Dallas-Fort Worth have come together to apply for an Eastern Time Zone from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, a branch of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Think we got a chance? 

Twitter: @MariaHalkias

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