(Source: www.businessinsider.com)

Given the age of the housing stock in the U.S., with almost 60% of homes built prior to 1980, Amazon will undoubtedly have an impact on the fix-and-flip market wherever it ultimately decides to build its second HQ.

HQ2, as its been named, is estimated to bring around 50,000 employees, most of whom will be paid well and in line with their Seattle colleagues. This means there will be a surge of housing demand. With the U.S. still approximately 3 million new home builds behind what it was forecasted to have built since 2008, the answer is likely in rehabilitating and improving existing homes.

Even in the largest markets, the entrance of an economic titan like Amazon means a surge in the fix-and-flip market. Here’s which cities would be best suited to Amazon’s new headquarters:

Atlanta, Georgia

As a land-central city with no physical barriers impeding suburban sprawl, Atlanta has seen a huge influx of investment in commercial, multi-family, and single family buildings in the last 24 months. Atlanta ranks 4th in the nation for Fortune 500 Company headquarters (Delta Airlines, SunTrust Bank, Home Depot and Coca-Cola, to name a few). Such a diverse economic base has been a key driver for millennial’s to settle in Atlanta.

Atlanta is one of the biggest cities in the country to benefit from the millennial migration trend. Many people, not just millennials, want to move in town closer to the city and its amenities. There are simply not enough homes for everyone that wants to live there. Housing supply dropped 4.9% over June 2016, per Market Brief, and inventory sits at a low 3.2 months. Atlanta is well positioned to support the influx of employees Amazon’s second campus would bring to the region.

Atlanta over the last 5 years has invested heavily in infrastructure (International Airport redevelopment and new light rail transportation lines to name a few) which has driven a vast majority of redevelopment in Downtown Atlanta and surrounding regions. In addition, the city’s government has approved over 22 miles of new running trails and numerous recreational parks, something which Amazon has driven heavily in Seattle.

Cincinnati, Ohio

The third largest city in Ohio, Cincinnati is best known for its expansive collection of historic architecture. Home to a local population of just over 2 million residence, Cincinnati has a median home price of $152,500 making it one of the most affordable cities in the nation. Cincy boasts many great neighborhoods to live, the Northside neighborhood in particular has seen tremendous economic growth as the traditional artist district now gives way to distinctive retail shops and boutique eateries.

The Kroger Company is the largest employer in the city employing over 21,000 local residence. Other notable firms include Procter & Gamble, Duke Energy and Omnicare to name a few. When comparing other cities Amazon could select it is unlikely Cincinnati is a top contender.

Memphis, Tennessee

The city of Memphis holds the second largest city population with 665,770 residence. The city’s unique location on the Mississippi River enables a robust commerce and shipping industry which employs over 69,000 residence. FedEx is the largest employer in the region employing over 30,000 Memphians.

The region also benefits from tourism as the region has attractions such as Graceland (former home of Elvis Presley), National Civil Rights Museum, and Mud Island River Park. One trendy neighborhood to point out is Midtown, located at the city’s core. This area is perhaps the most diverse region in Memphis where you will find artist, political progressives and millennials living side-by-side.

The area also is home to Overton Park, a 342-acre public park with running trails, recreational fields and a golf course. Amazon would be attracted to Memphis due to its port like features (similar to Seattle) and future redevelopment projects to modernize the downtown landscape. One hesitation for Amazon entering Memphis would be the region’s ability to retain and attract new talent as there is a lack of economic diversification.

Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville is the Capital and largest city in Tennessee. Nicknamed Music City, Nashville is most renowned for its musical heritage and has become a vibrant music recording and production center (2nd largest behind New York). Surprisingly, health care not music holds the title as the largest industry in Nashville with more than 300 supporting firms including Hospital Corporation of America, the world’s largest private operator of hospitals.

The two main regions supporting expanding real estate opportunities for investors are West End (or West End Avenue) and Midtown primarily due to their central location and walkability. West End has primarily condos and apartments where both professionals and college students call home. Out of the two contending cities in Tennessee, Nashville has the edge to land Amazon. The city has a diverse economic base and infrastructure to support a second campus along with a vibrant city culture to attract and retain talented employees. Furthermore, the city has a growing tech presence which has spurred residential development within the city’s core.

 

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh is historically known for its steel industry and robust manufacturing base however, the economy today is largely driven by education, technology and health care. The city is home to countless research facilities, colleges and universities including University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. Which such young educated talent based throughout the city, tech giants such as Apple, Google and Facebook, amongst others have opened large satellite offices contributing over $20B in annual Pittsburgh payrolls.

The influx of well-paying jobs has contributed to a hot real estate market. Brookline, a South Hills community with easy access to the city’s subway line, has transformed in recent years to house both working professionals and students. The influx of new residences has had a major effect on home prices values and available inventory for new residence. Pittsburgh has done an excellent job in recent years of attracting the tech giants of Silicon Valley. Amazon would be attracted to Pittsburgh based on the young talent it could draw from with the surrounding universities, especially Carnegie Mellon University. In addition, the city would be ability easily absorb the additional headcount Amazon would bring.

Columbus, Ohio

Columbus is Ohio’s state capital and largest city boasting roughly 860,000 residents. Unlike most Midwest cities, Columbus has a robust economic base with strong diversification across finance, aviation, health care, hospitality and technology. Home to the world’s largest private research and development foundation, the Battelle Memorial Institute employs more than 22,000 local residence. T

he North Market region is currently undergoing substantial redevelopment as the city looks to erect a large residential tower, an outdoor plaza designed for farmers markets and a two-story, light-filled atrium connecting the Market Building to the tower. So far in 2017, we have seen an increase of 12% in median home sales over the past year as millennials are moving to Columbus in search of well-paid first time jobs. While Columbus has a broad economic base it would be hard to imagine Amazon moving in.

The region is undergoing redevelopment but the city is still a couple years away from having the amenities and communities which Amazon has grown accustomed to in Seattle.

 

Denver, Colorado

Denver has to be considered a top 3 contender for Amazon’s second headquarter destination. The proximity of Denver International Airport (DEN) to the surrounding metros and local universities to draw talent from makes Denver especially appealing. Denver also has a blossoming tech scene as Google, I.B.M., Twitter and Oracle all have offices in Denver or Boulder (40 minute drive from Denver).

In conjunction with Seattle, Denver has plenty of outdoor recreational activities and a diversity of culture which Amazon employees are accustom to. Furthermore, Denver learned a lot from its failure to land Boeing’s headquarters in 2001 (lost the bid to Chicago) after it was unwilling to put together the right financial incentives package.

Austin, Texas

Austin is another city that poses some interesting qualities to lure in Amazon. From a talent acquisitions standpoint, Amazon would be able to take advantage of the downtown campus of University of Texas (UT) which supports over 50,000 students. Amazon would also be able to utilize the already developed tech scene where companies such as Apple, Facebook, Dell and Microsoft have hired more than 25,000 software developers.

Furthermore, the city’s lifestyle, temperature and culture make it an appealing destination for all professionals. The one drawback to Austin is the lack of open space to develop a massive headquarters. Currently there are only a handful of locations in downtown where a company as big as Amazon could settle down.

Ray Sturm is co-founder and CEO of AlphaFlow, a wealth-tech investment platform for real estate comments. The data in this article is powered by The Number

 

More Info: www.businessinsider.com

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