Attention all local naysayers: CNBC has given Miami one of the best shots yet at landing Amazon’s second headquarters, better known as HQ2.
The business channel gave the city a B+ overall rating, noting its status as a gateway to Latin America, its relatively low cost of living and what reporter Scott Cohn called “friendly regulations.”
Compare that B+ rating with Chicago, New York, and Washington, D.C., which all got a B- from CNBC. Only Dallas and Austin have come out ahead of Miami, whose grade tied with Nashville, Denver and Boston.
The network spoke with Mike Finney, president and CEO of the Miami-Dade Beacon Council and one of the leaders of Miami’s bid, which was also produced by the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance and the Palm Beach County Business Development Board.
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“We’ve got one of the most diverse talent pools you’ll find any place in the U.S.,” Finney said. “And it’s a talent pool that is highly educated. We’ve got people coming from all over the world.”
In its breakdown, CNBC gave Miami a B+ in the “stable and business-friendly environment” subcategory, a C+ in “potential to attract and retain strong technical talent,” and a B+ for having optimal locations and real estate. All three subcategories have been explicitly stated by Amazon as key criteria. Cohn said one likely location for HQ2 would be downtown Miami amidst the Miami Worldcenter complex.
Amazon has said it will announce which city will win HQ2 by the end of the year. The project is expected to create as many as 50,000 jobs and include more than $5 billion in construction and development.
CNBC is the latest to weigh in on which city has the best odds of landing the project. Earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal put Miami in its second tier of possible winners, noting its relative affordability and friendly tax climate. Moody’s, the bond rating company, ranked Miami 7th out of the 20 finalists, while The New York Times placed Miami among its final nine. Gambling site Bovada gives Miami the longest odds.