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Do not call it a breakup: Pittsburgh and Amazon can still be friends

Updated 44 minutes ago Dear Pittsburgh, It's me. Not you. Still friends? Love, Amazon. Pittsburgh lost at Amazon's second headquarters,…

Updated 44 minutes ago

Dear Pittsburgh,

It’s me. Not you.

Still friends?



Pittsburgh lost at Amazon’s second headquarters, but the relationship between the city and one of the world’s most powerful technology companies does not seem to be over.

Despite Pittsburgh Mayor Peduto, he describes his short conversation with Amazon that you have when you break with someone &#821

1; “It’s not you, it’s me,” said Peduto the past week, reminding of the brief conversation he had with Amazon since HQ2 -message. The situation seems less interrupted and more like “let’s still be friends”.

“They like the partnership they have with this region,” said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.

That Pittsburgh likes Amazon and Amazon like Pittsburgh is clear. The city offered some of its highest properties to the company at no cost and stopped its $ 4 million deal in incentives. Amazon, in recent years, has increased its presence in Pittsburgh outside HQ2 hoopla. It has doubled the size of its technical center on the southern side of the city. It has recently established the store within a warehouse of 70,000 square meters in Aleppo and adds the space available in the city’s Fairywood district. Amazon employs more than 10,000 people in Pennsylvania and hundreds of jobs in Western Pennsylvania.

John Boyd, a chief consultant at The Boyd Co., a local consulting company in Princeton, N.J., said he is not mad at the break-up analogue used by Peduto. Amazon has a significant presence in Western Pennsylvania, said Boyd, and it will be in operation for more.

“You would expect them to expand these operations,” Boyd said. “The message is” We became short. “The labor market here could not support a project of this size but it can still benefit from a smaller one from Amazon, an Amazon subsidiary or another technical company.”

Boyd believes that HQ2 spinoffs will be rich because the company navigates its presence.

Amazon announced Tuesday that it will share its second headquarters between a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens and just across the Washington River. Each site receives 25,000 jobs and $ 2.5 billion in investment. Nashville comes home to an operating center and 5000 jobs. Incentive packages from the three places totaling more than $ 3 billion.

Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania offered Amazon a combined incentive package that the city and Allegheny County were valued at $ 4 billion. Amazon would also have its selection of the best places, most free.

Peduto and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said they talked to Amazon for five to 10 minutes shortly after the company announced their HQ2 elections. The parties agreed on a deeper debrief later.

“They were very positive about Pittsburgh and what they see their future in Pittsburgh and what we have on South Side and out in Fairywood and out in Aleppo,” said Fitzgerald. “And some of the other things that will happen.”

Amazon has debriefed other HQ2-hungry cities that did not make it as far as in Pittsburgh. Detroit learned that it did not need talent or transit Amazon. City leaders take action to deal with both. Sacramento restructures its work program development programs. Cincinnati beefed up his tech training program. Missouri hired a consultant to help it completely rethink his economy.

Fitzgerald and Peduto said that Amazon was positive in their conversation.

“There was no negative. It was nothing like,” You’re missing this. “It was just,” You are good, “said Peduto.” But they said size. “

Peduto suspects that Amazon worried what would be a big impact in a big city in Pittsburgh if it took 50,000 jobs. In New York or Washington, the effect will be minimal, said Peduto.

Amazon’s potential impact on Pittsburgh already shared the community, says Joel Johnson, founder of BoXZY, a Pittsburgh start making an all-in-one printer, CNC mill and laser engraver.

“People have lived the same way for a long time with really cheap housing,” Johnson said. “About the property values starting to rise very quickly to California levels because you bring in all these tech companies, people should rightly be afraid. “

These fears were expressed during the process, Johnson said. And Amazon was probably adopted.

” When you are a big company so you’re looking for predictable het, and you want a place that just welcomes you, and there is no controversy, and that’s not what you should have in Pittsburgh, “Johnson said. “You will get the growing pain.”

Amazon has not been exactly welcomed with open arms to their HQ2 sites. Protests have rocked New York and Washington since the announcement. Boyd said concern may cause Amazon to spin away some of the planned expansion in these cities to other cities, and places like Newark, Philadelpia and Pittsburgh may be top on that list.

“Do not be surprised if you hear about any game projects related to HQ2,” Boyd said. “Not just to help hiring without helping mitigate some of these effects. Amazon is under attack right now.”

In the end, Amazon did not help Pittsburgh with tens of thousands of jobs and billions of investment. The company did not hurt the city either with rising real estate prices or explosive demands on already fragile infrastructure.

But Amazon made Pittsburgh a service, “said Dan Adamski, CEO of Jones Lang LaSalle in Pittsburgh. Whether Pittsburgh ever really shot at HQ2, Amazon Pittsburgh put in a national conversation.

It identified the city as a hotbed for technical innovation. Adamski said that he heard from companies across the country who were interested in Pittsburgh for expansion.

“Now we are in the mix,” said Adamski.

Amazon’s interest in Pittsburgh was so obvious that it unfortunately scared a company looking at Pittsburgh to expand. The company, as Adamski did not identify, fell with 1,000 jobs to Pittsburgh but was worried that if Amazon chose the city for HQ2 it would suck all talent and make it impossible to rent.

“It went to Atlanta,” says Adamski. “We are a very competitive region, and we have a lot to be proud of. We take into account so many things we were not 10 years ago.”

And when a relationship ends, there is a chance of self-reflection and growth . Adamski said that Pittsburgh would take some time now that the HQ2 court is about to focus on itself.

“If nothing else, it was a very good exercise. It made us look introspective and analyze what we see as our strengths and perhaps part of our weakness,” says Adamski. “You have to look in the mirror and see where you can make improvements. “

Aaron Aupperlee is a Tribune Review Staff Author. You can contact Aaron at 412-336-8448, [email protected] or via Twitter @tinynotebook.

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