Amazon’s HQ2 Hunt Has Real Estate Investors Making Bets

Real Estate Property Investors Eye Amazon's HQ2

Even before Amazon names the city where it will put its second headquarters, investors are already looking for cash commitments and capital to invest real estate ahead of the announcement. Some investors are even purchasing shares in a firm that owns real estate in a city considered to be a frontrunner, The Wall Street Journal reported.

“HQ2 is guaranteed to meet three criteria: tech job growth, tech job growth and tech job growth,” CityBldr Co-founder Bryan Copley told the paper. Copley is seeking $100 million to purchase property in Los Angeles, Seattle and the city that Amazon chooses for its second headquarters. When Amazon makes the winning city public, Copley said he can use proprietary software to find the underutilized properties in that location within minutes.

In another approach, some investors have been looking to purchase shares of JBG Smith Properties. That company owns real estate in a neighborhood called Crystal City, which one investor told the WSJ has a good chance of winning. (JBG did not provide a comment to the paper.)

Adding to the anticipation for a decision on its $5 billion HQ2 project, Amazon has reportedly made visits to multiple finalists. According to a person with an understanding of the visits, the eCommerce retailer visited Chicago, New York City and Chicago, The Wall Street Journalreported. At the same time, however, those familiar with Amazon’s process noted that the retailer hasn’t made a deal, but that they might make near-final deals with multiple locations prior to announcing the final selection. That could enable the retailer to keep its choice unknown ahead of an announced decision.

Unnamed sources say that Amazon might want an urban site. However, the suburbs of Montgomery County, Maryland and Northern Virginia, along with the District of Columbia, have “long been speculated to be frontrunners,” according to the paper. That is partly because Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post and has a house in the region.