Just as Atlanta’s vivid spring began to fully bloom, a delegation in search of a prime landing spot for Amazon’s HQ2 swept through town last week, state leaders have confirmed.
The Atlanta tour reportedly followed visits to several of the other 20 finalist cities—Denver, Dallas, Austin, and Washington D.C. among them—and could have included eight potential HQ2 sites from the Atlanta airport to the transit-connect suburb of Dunwoody.
Also on the list: a downtown Atlanta location that doesn’t even really exist yet.
But according to 11Alive, the Amazon courtship did not entail a stop at a massive mixed-use project long thought to be in the mix: Doraville’s Assembly.
The redevelopment of Doraville’s former General Motors plant, which is rising next to a MARTA station and Interstate 285, has been gaining momentum with a large corporate signing, operational movie studios, and some $300 million in investment announced last year. But unnamed sources told the news station the site was skipped, and Dorville city officials confirmed that they weren’t privy to any site visits last week.
As for which of the remaining locales were visited ... well, that’s anyone’s guess, as reps with the state, City of Atlanta, and other municipalities are keeping mum.
In a prepared statement last week, Pat Wilson, commissioner for the Georgia Department of Economic Development, allowed this much: “We were excited to have the opportunity to welcome Amazon to Georgia this week ... As we’ve said before, we truly believe that metro Atlanta is the best location for HQ2 ... Being able to showcase our exceptional assets first-hand will ensure that Georgia remains on their minds.”
11Alive points to a graphic that outlines eight possible areas pitched to Amazon as potential HQ2 landing spots.
These include the Gulch and several blocks throughout Midtown, of course, but also: Aerotropolis in Clayton County; Fort McPherson; parcels around the Dunwoody MARTA Station; a Westside location near the Bankhead MARTA Station; and even downtown’s nascent The Stitch proposal, which would bridge the Connector with a public park in hopes of spurring investment.
(Head over here for a breakdown of the eight potential sites, including Doraville’s, in map form).
Meanwhile, the AJC relays that observers think Atlanta still stands a strong chance of making final cuts in the HQ2 derby, despite controversies stemming from this year’s recently wrapped legislative session.
City and business boosters vying to woo Amazon have been none too pleased with legislation that slaps Delta Air Lines for its NRA stance and jeopardizes the ability of same-sex couples to adopt children in some cases.
Gov. Nathan Deal told the newspaper that Georgia’s business-friendly environment and its generally being “a state that puts our priorities in the right place” should be paramount.