Amazon has said its preferences for the site include a metropolitan location with a population of more than 1 million, mass transit, proximity to an international flight hub and the potential to retain and attract technical talent.
"Pittsburgh is also in the process of developing a strong technological base as the presence of Facebook, Google, Uber (its driverless car operations are there) attests. And owing to the grand industrial past of each city, there are impressive museums and other cultural aspects that will appeal to the well-educated employee demographic Amazon seeks."
Uber, Google, Carnegie Mellon, and more have turned Pittsburgh in to a destination for top tech talent.
GeekWire reporters and editors will cycle through their temporary HQ2 in Pittsburgh for the entire month of February, immersing themselves in a city that has reinvented itself from industrial powerhouse to technology hub.
“The technologies that emerge from this building will have the power to make things in a whole new way to trigger a major resurgence of economic development in the United States and to assert our global leadership in advanced manufacturing.”
Pittsburgh International Airport has secured a coveted nonstop flight to Seattle, one that not only fills a key gap in the market but bolsters the region’s bid for Amazon’s second headquarters.
New leadership of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development introduced themselves at the organization’s annual meeting amid the imagination-capturing goal of Pittsburgh winning the bid to host Amazon’s HQ2 over more than 200 other North American cities.
Mayor Bill Peduto traveled to Germany as part of an unofficial delegation of more than 100 Americans, American officials and business owners who say they are still committed to climate talks. One element of Pittsburgh's climate strategy has been encouraging innovation in a technology known as microgrids.
UPMC will spend $2 billion to build three specialty hospitals, bringing to $3 billion the total sum earmarked for new health care expenditures in Western Pennsylvania over the next five years.
Through a partnership with Amazon, every new apartment in the $100 million rehab of the iconic Macy’s/Kaufmann’s building Downtown is equipped with Alexa, its voice-activated operating system, that allows residents to make coffee, raise or lower the window blinds, adjust the temperature and turn on the television — all without getting out of bed.
“This is an app openly for working people and that’s the backbone of the culture of the City of Pittsburgh. Also, the colors that are chosen for the app just happen to be black and gold.”
As Pittsburgh continues trying to grow its tech sector, including a bid for Amazon’s second North American headquarters, Mayor Bill Peduto said he's conscious about ensuring that rising tide lifts all boats.
Pittsburgh comes out on top based on the city's underutilized buildings, competitive costs, available tech talent, local universities, airport accessibility, and “community cultural fit” and “community quality of life.”
The Oct. 12 board meeting of Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh authorized $15 million in tax-free bond funding to renovate 75 affordable housing units in partnership with the Northside Coalition for Fair Housing, and approved another $36 million for property improvements to Crawford Square.
“I said earlier how Pittsburgh amazed me when I first arrived here. And I feel that more than ever today. I’m excited to see all the ways the people of this city will build a future that works for them, and for everyone.” – Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google
“’Twelve hundred ... students coming out of Carnegie Mellon a year into a pipeline where many of them now stay here and don't go to the coast,’ [Peduto] said. ‘The University of Pittsburgh turning out engineers and people working in life sciences. Companies gravitate to where the talent is.’”
East Liberty and Lawrenceville neighborhoods of Pittsburgh were ranked the number one coolest neighborhood in America by MONEY based off of Lonely Planet travel experts’ recommendations and the cost of spending a week exploring the worthwhile neighborhood.
With $1.06 billion in direct annual spending on the art, Allegheny County’s investment in its vibrant arts and cultural organizations continue to grow and position greater Pittsburgh as the nation’s leader in economic impact of the arts on the community.
“‘A lot of the folks that work for us today in Pittsburgh, they live in the Strip District, they love new condos and residential areas ... and all the restaurant options,’ Bryan Salesky, CEO of Argo AI said.”
With a median base salary of $44,000, and more than 95,000 jobs openings especially in civil engineering, nursing and project management, Glassdoor ranked Pittsburgh as the best city in the United States for finding a job.
“Between the Pirates, Steelers or Penguins, you'll have no shortage of major sports teams to cheer on here. Residents also enjoy community-friendly events and charming neighborhoods that boast their own attractions.”
“But perhaps the secret, underlying driver for both the economy and the cool factor — the reason Pittsburgh now gets mentioned alongside Brooklyn and Portland, Ore., as an urban hot spot for millennials — isn’t chefs or artists but geeks.”
“What I found was a city that has transformed itself into a vibrant cultural and artistic hub, all while remaining true to its Rust Belt roots.”
“This tech and health-care urban hub earned the honor thanks to its not-too-pricey housing stock and the city’s high loan funding rate — meaning that conventional mortgage loans have become more accessible.”
“Advancements in robotics, autonomous manufacturing, self-driving cars and more are taking place in the former warehouses, factories and foundries of Pittsburgh's Strip District and Lawrenceville neighborhoods.”
Pittsburgh was recently named America’s top food city in 2015 with new restaurants continuing to pop up and reinvent the city’s culinary scene.
The Strip District is quickly becoming known nationally as the “Silicon Strip” with dozens of start-ups launching and staying in Pittsburgh – a city with that’s reinventing itself from a steel town to a tech town.
“No one can pinpoint whether it was the artists or techies or chefs who got the revitalization rolling, but there’s no denying that restaurants play a starring role in the story Pittsburgh now tells about itself.”
“Pittsburgh is not just a happening place to visit — increasingly, people, especially New Yorkers, are toying with the idea of moving here.”
In the backyard of Carnegie Mellon University, technology companies like Uber, Apple and now Facebook are turning to Pittsburgh to find top-notch researchers.