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Amazon’s HQ2 could positively impact Coweta

  • By Kandice Bell
  • |
  • Oct. 27, 2017 - 8:04 AM

Amazon’s HQ2 could positively impact Coweta

The Newnan Times-Herald

Amazon is looking for a city to house its second headquarters, and Coweta may reap some of the benefits.

Amazon is promising a $5 billion investment and 50,000 jobs over the next 10 and half years. Potential sites in metro Atlanta include Midtown, Fort McPherson, the former General Motors Plant, now renamed Assembly, in Doraville, High Street in Dunwoody, The Gulch near Five Points and Philips Arena, as well as areas near Hartsfield-Jackson International airport, according to The Associated Press. Amazon has made it known that tax breaks and grants would be a big deciding factor on where it chooses to locate.

The online retailer is currently headquartered in Seattle, Wash.

Local business experts said the move to the airport could be beneficial for Coweta and metro Atlanta as a whole.

“The second Amazon headquarters will have a huge economic impact on whatever city wins the bid,” University of West Georgia Economics Professor Dr. Mary Kassis said. “A $5 billion construction project and 50,000 high-wage jobs would definitely boost the Atlanta economy. Although there could be some negative impacts on housing costs and traffic, the benefits of the additional jobs and economic activity will outweigh those costs.”

“The impact on individual counties such as Coweta will depend on where the second headquarters is located,” she said. “The counties closest to the headquarters will get the most impact. However, this project is big enough that it will have a positive benefit on the entire metropolitan area.”

John Hall, 2017 Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce Board chairman, agrees with  Kassis. Hall said he believes as long the headquarters is located in metro Atlanta, all surrounding cities will benefit.

“It will bring many jobs from what I’ve read,” Hall said. “Jobs are an asset for any community. As long the headquarters isn’t located north above Atlanta, I think Coweta will benefit.”

Coweta is a sought-after community for businesses and developers, in part because of its close proximity to the the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, and the Amazon headquarters near “aerotropolis,” could promote the concept even further for the region.

An aerotropolis is a metropolitan subregion whose infrastructure, land-use, and economy are centered on the airport, according to a dissertation by  John D. Kasarda with The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The Aerotropolis Atlanta Alliance exists to help promote area assets, and thus improve the commonly held image and perception of the south-metropolitan area, according to Shelley Lamar, executive director of the alliance.

“Hartsfield Jackson International Airport has been a key factor in the economic growth of the metro Atlanta region, as well as the state of Georgia, and the Aerotropolis Alliance has been working to focus the prosperity halo the airport creates on the area closest to the airport,” Lamar said in an email statement.

"Should Amazon choose to locate its ‘HQ2’ in the Aerotropolis footprint, it would not only create new white collar jobs in the region, but further increase the booming hotel and hospitality industries, as well as all of the supporting industries we have in place."

"Our renaissance as a region is well underway, but if Amazon chooses to locate its headquarters in our region, I’m quite certain they would find warm welcomes from our current Fortune 500 residents, such as Porsche Cars North America, Delta Air Lines, Duke Realty and Chick-fil-A.”

As of Oct. 23, Amazon had received over 230 bids and proposals from cities and regions in the United States, Canada and Mexico, according to the AP.