PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Amazon is expected to announce where it will build its second headquarters later this year.
For the next month, tech news site Geek Wire, which covers science, technology and innovation, is making Pittsburgh its second headquarters to learn about the city’s tech boom and culture.
“We decided to do our own HQ2, Geek Wire HQ2, Pittsburgh stood out above the rest,” Todd Bishop said.
Having covered Amazon in Seattle for a decade, Geek Wire founders John Cook and Bishop said Pittsburgh, or whichever city Amazon selects for its HQ2, could learn some lessons from Seattle.
“I think that city needs to be a little wary of a big tech giant like Amazon coming into its presence,” Cook said.
Amazon has said its HQ2 will bring 50,000 jobs and an investment of $5 billion.
Cook and Bishop said the winning city needs to consider the pros and cons.
One plus for Pittsburgh is infrastructure.
“There is the infrastructure here to accommodate, in my view, a company like Amazon to put a footprint in here in a big way,” Cook said. “The cons are very apparent – a tech company coming in – a rising tide may not lift all boats in this case, so you do worry that a disadvantaged community may not be brought along with this transformation,”
Other things to consider are housing and traffic, both of which have been problems for Seattle.
The two say knowing what the city is promising Amazon is also important.
“This really is a transformative event if it does happens for Pittsburgh and you cannot have that happen in a black box. You need to involve the community and I would say involve the community at the earliest stages,” Cook said.