Region of Boom
Construction cranes, reflected in the glass at Amazon's Spheres, in Seattle. Amazon's commitment to construction in Seattle is declining as it prepares to transition more growth to HQ2.
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Construction cranes, reflected in the glass at Amazon's Spheres, in Seattle. Amazon's commitment to construction in Seattle is declining as it prepares to transition more growth to HQ2.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Will Amazon's HQ2 help close the tech gap for cities (or widen it)?

Where in North America is the perfect fit for Amazon's HQ2?

Friday marked one year since the company announced it would launch a second headquarters.

Reporter Carolyn Adolph joined KUOW's Angela King to talk about Amazon's search.

King: Do we know any more about who the winner's going to be yet?

Adolph: All Amazon has said is that the announcement is going to be this year. It's a big one.

What are some of the questions you have about the winning city?

Well the big thing is, what does this tell us about the fate of cities? Because as our economy and society become more tech, there's this divergence and it's widening. The cool new jobs, the ones for the most skilled people — those have been clustering more and more in tech cities, along with an amazing amount of wealth.

So is the city that wins already one of these tech superstars or is it going to be one?

What else will we be able to glean from Amazon's decision?

Is this city that's selected going to be like Seattle or some kind of an opposite? In other words, is there a lesson for Seattle in this?

Look at Atlanta. It sounds quite a bit like Seattle. It's got a disused neighborhood close to downtown that it wants to see redevelopment in. (It's called The Gulch, which I love.) It also looks like Atlanta has about a billion dollars worth of incentives on the table there. And that reminds us of Seattle because Seattle spent about a billion dollars in infrastructure improvements to move into South Lake Union.

Or is the city going to be completely different? Is it going to have zoning that allows developers to build whatever the emerging real estate market wants? And will it be a place where you can actually get around in if a fish truck capsizes?