Amazon’s second headquarters will be built in a city with these 9 qualities—Learn how Frisco fares

Amazon is looking for a city to host its second headquarters, a project that is estimated to result in a $5 billion investment and bring 50,000 high-paying jobs to the city that lands the project.

The online shopping and technology giant announced the plans in early September. The process for submitting proposals opened Thursday, Sept. 7, and will close Thursday, Oct. 19.

The city of Frisco did not respond to a request as to whether it would vie for Amazon.

For prospective cities, there is a lot to be desired in hosting Amazon’s second headquarters; however, Amazon desires much from its future location. Below is an official list released by Amazon of ideal characteristics for a host city and a look at how Frisco stacks up to each.

1. Metropolitan area with more than 1 million people

Amazon wants a location that is heavily populated—more specifically, an area within at least 30 miles of a population center of more than 1 million people as the company expects to bring roughly 50,000 jobs. The Dallas-Fort Worth area's population boasts more than 7 million people, according to 2015 population numbers.

2. Within 45 minutes of an international airport

Frisco is about 26 miles northeast of the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and about 25 miles north of Dallas Love Field.

3. Located 1 to 2 miles away from major roadways

Four major roadways run through and around Frisco—the Dallas North Tollway, the Sam Rayburn Tollway, Preston Road (SH 289) and US 380.

4. Access to mass transit

Frisco does not have a public transit system. The city offers demand-response service through the Denton County Transportation Authority. The service is only open to elderly and disabled residents.

A commuter rail line has been in the city's long-term plans for some time, but there are no immediate plans to implement the rail line.

5. Estimated campus size is 8 million square feet

The new Amazon headquarters could be placed on a greenfield site of at least 100 acres. There are numerous plots of undeveloped land in Frisco that could accommodate a campus of that size. Brinkmann Ranch, for instance, sprawls over about 2,000 acres in East Frisco and is planned for an urban center under the city's Future Land Use Plan.

6. Economic incentives

Frisco has a history of negotiating economic incentive deals with economy-boosting projects. The city and the Frisco Economic Development Corp. have offered incentives to some of Frisco's biggest projects, such as Stonebriar Centre and The Star in Frisco.

7. Strong labor force and university system

Frisco has often boasted about its highly educated workforce. Nearly 60 percent of residents have at least a bachelor's degree, and more than 90 percent have a high school education.

Amazon said a strong local university system is preferred. Collin and Denton counties are home to several major universities, including the University of North Texas and the University of Texas at Dallas. Frisco is also home to the Collin College Preston Ridge campus, an Amberton University campus and a UNT satellite campus.

8. Quick timetable for construction commencement

This typically means an easy and streamlined permitting process. While each project is handled on a case by case basis, Frisco does have a history seeing major developments open within a few years. The Star, for example, was announced in 2013, broke ground in 2014 and opened the first phase of the development in 2016.

Other major projects have delayed their opening dates, though developers tend to blame a construction labor shortage and a rising cost of materials.

9. Cultural community/quality of life

Amazon is looking for a city with a diverse population and somewhere its employees will want to live. Minorities make up 38 percent of Frisco's population, including an Asian population totaling nearly 20 percent.

Frisco is also home to multiple sporting and event venues, destination museums and a growing parks system. The city is working to provide a performing arts center and move the Grand Park project along.


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