Atlantans holding their breath for good news this week about Amazon’s HQ2 frenzy might want to exhale.
Earlier reports suggested that Amazon could cleave a shortlist of frontrunners from 238 cities vying for the company’s second headquarters by Dec. 1, but various media in Atlanta’s southeastern competitor Charlotte now indicate that won’t be the case.
Citing sources at the Charlotte Regional Partnership, news station WCNC reports that Amazon’s shortlist won’t be ready until early 2018, at the earliest.
Adds The Charlotte Observer: “The [economic development] group had been expecting to hear by Friday, which was when they were told Amazon would have its shortlist. Partnership spokeswoman Dianne Chase said that the volume of proposals means this week will no longer be the decision point.”
An Amazon PR rep who’d reached out to Curbed Atlanta on Tuesday regarding a phone interview wasn’t immediately available today, but we’ll post any new information on the subject of HQ2 that comes.
So, for now, the Amazon-a-palooza suspense continues.
Meanwhile, in likely related news, the Atlanta Business Chronicle relays that Los Angeles-based CIM Group is moving forward this week with a truly massive reimagining of downtown Atlanta’s Gulch. The underused site was recently approved for substantial tax breaks, should the right corporate suitor come along.
CIM—with a key leader being the brother of Atlanta Hawks’ owner Tony Ressler—has filed paperwork with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs for a $1-billion, transit-oriented development. Per the ABC, it would entail 9.35 million square feet of office space (Amazon will eventually need 8 million square feet) plus another 1 million square feet of retail (that’s nearly twice the size of Atlantic Station’s retail core).
Other pieces would be a 1,500-room hotel—that’d be the city’s second largest, behind the Marriott Marquis—and 1,000 apartments, per CIM’s plans.
As the newspaper states, the 120-acre Gulch site would seem to fit Amazon’s requirements like a big blighted glove, in terms of sheer size, transit-connectedness, airport access, urban walkability, and proximity to the bright minds at Georgia Tech and other nearby universities.
But it seems we’ll have to wait a while to know if the promise of The Gulch—or another Atlanta site—is on the right track for HQ2.