Last week, Amazon announced the shortlist for its new headquarters. Out of the 238 cities and regions from 54 different North American states and provinces that submitted proposals, Amazon selected only 20 cities for the next stage of the vetting process. While most of the locations were expected, according to many there were a few surprise standouts on the list—namely Indianapolis and Columbus, Ohio.
Reading through the national and local assessments on the shortlist's surprise markets, the Elevate Office projects underway in both locations came to the forefront. With two planned projects in the Columbus, Ohio suburban market, a presence in Fishers, Indiana, and a building under construction in Brownsburg, Indiana (both suburbs of Indianapolis), was Amazon using the secret sauce of our expansion plans?
While the team leading the Elevate Office is the best in the business and was very purposeful in the location selection, of course Amazon didn't copy its strategy for the $5 billion investment from our team. However, after reading on about the announcement, many of the same characteristics that made these Midwestern cities attractive to Amazon also fit the location requirements for an Elevate Office.
According to a Forbes' article, Amazon is vetting locations for reasons that include: economic strength and balance and workforce access and attraction and noted that Indianapolis and Columbus meet the marks in these areas. Taking it even further, the next stage of review may give these two cities a leg-up.
Elevate Office chose to build projects in the suburban markets of these cities because of the economic opportunity and vitality of the regions. Both locations offer diverse, yet strong economies, as well as proximity to nearby universities. In other words, these are attractive locations because they can (and do) attract a well-educated workforce. These are locations where people want to live, work, and create.
For these reasons, coupled with a supportive, business-friendly climate, these cities can do well in the next stage of selection for Amazon. In fact, with a focus on livability for round two, some analysts say it's possible that Indianapolis and Columbus are stronger competitors than most on the shortlist. One thing we at Elevate Office know for sure is that these cities—and others like them—are the future for the entrepreneurs and microbusinesses that call the office suites home and corporate behemoths alike.
Now that Amazon has shown a spotlight on these cities, it's time for those that haven't already to take notice. These cities might just be where your business should be too.