Amazon announced Thursday that it will be building a new headquarters in a U.S. metropolitan area.
Raleigh and Charlotte both meet several of the requirements for the location of the new headquarters, including having a population of over 1 million and an international airport within 45 minutes.
The new headquarters, which the company calls HQ2, will be equivalent to Amazon’s Seattle campus and will create up to 50,000 jobs in the area they pick as well as $5 billion in capital investment.
“This is the deal of the century,” said Maryann Feldman, a professor in the Department of Public Policy at UNC. “It’s hard to imagine a bigger economic deal than this one and there’s such potential for growth here.”
Amazon has asked cities to submit proposals by Oct. 19.
“We relentlessly pursue every opportunity to bring new jobs to (North Carolina), and every day we respond to requests for proposals — from those big transformative projects that grab headlines to the many projects you don’t hear about beforehand,” North Carolina Secretary of Commerce Anthony Copeland said in a statement. “North Carolina has been making the necessary investments for our future success.”
Feldman said Raleigh is a viable candidate for Amazon HQ2.
“Raleigh is a large (metropolitan statistical area), but Durham and Chapel Hill in combination with Raleigh would be a lot more attractive,” she said. “There are a lot of interesting things going on in Durham, and there’s great entrepreneurial energy and the kind of edginess that existed in Seattle when Amazon was in its early years there.”
Raleigh’s position on the East Coast would balance out Amazon’s West Coast presence in Seattle, Washington, Feldman said.