Amazon Joins Other Fortune 15 Companies in Building New Headquarters
Amazon recently announced the start of their selection process to find the location for a second headquarters that could employ as many as fifty thousand (50,000) new full-time employees with an average compensation exceeding one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) over the next ten to fifteen years. This opportunity has communities scrambling to identify the incentive package and real estate site that can land this amazing deal. The initial requirement is for 500,000 square feet that will be open by 2019 that could grow up to 8 million square feet by 2027. The establishment of a second headquarters by Amazon will be the fifth company within the top 15 of the Fortune 500 to begin or complete a new headquarters project in 2017.
Apple recently opened their highly anticipated 2.8 million square feet structure that can accommodate 12,000 employees in Cupertino, California. At a cost of approximately $5 billion, this structure received the same attention to design as any of Apple’s other products.
Closer in scale to the proposed Amazon headquarters two is the recently opened ExxonMobil campus located 25 miles north of downtown Houston. At 4 million square feet, it is designed to accommodate 10,000 employees.
The Apple and ExxonMobil campuses share many similarities. Both are low-rise buildings (less than 4 stories) with lots of glass providing natural light. Sustainable design practices have been incorporated into most aspects of each project. And both headquarters boast 100,000 square feet wellness centers.
The other two Fortune 500 headquarters, General Electric and Walmart, are moving into new facilities on a much smaller scale. General Electric is moving their headquarters from Connecticut to Boston, Massachusetts. Executives have moved into temporary space while renovation of two brick buildings, totaling 95,000 square feet, begins with an estimated completion by mid-2019. A proposed 12-story, 295,000-square-foot tower is scheduled to be completed in mid-2021.
Finally, the number one company on the Fortune 500 list, Walmart, announced plans to consolidate operations spread across more than 20 different facilities around northwest Arkansas into a new headquarters located on 350 acres near downtown Bentonville.
While the designs and sizes differ, all of the projects promote the same common benefits: providing a collaborative environment, amenities and environment to attract top talent and sustainable, energy efficient designs. These projects will also have a major impact on the economic development of their respective areas in terms of creation of high-paying job opportunities as well as the indirect benefits resulting from the ancillary services and suppliers needed to support them.