Nashville to bid for 2nd Amazon headquarters amid growth concerns

(WSMV file photo)

Nashville is making a bid to bring Amazon’s second headquarters to the city.

But in a city that’s already growing by 100 people a day, there are questions about whether Nashville can handle any more growth.

Amazon said it’s looking for a city that has a strong labor force, lots of space and a good transportation system to bring 50,000 jobs. For some of those requirements, Nashville doesn’t shape up.

The potential surrounding a second Amazon headquarters in Nashville is creating buzz.

“There’s still so much incredible growth and development opportunity in Nashville that I believe we can handle it,” said Teddy Pins, a realtor with Village Real Estate.

Figuring out a place to live would be challenging. The Greater Nashville Association of Realtors said the city would not be ready if the move happened today. The organization said many potential employees would likely already be here, but there would not be enough homes to meet demands if the move happened today.

Pins said the supply must meet the demand.

“We’re already in that mix. We’re seeing that with the amount of rentals that have been added to our market and the continuation of aggressive growth,” Pins said.

Amazon is looking for a city that has not only quality of life but connectivity with light rail, trains and buses. Besides the Music City Star, commuter rail doesn’t exist in Nashville. Mayor Megan Barry is working to add that to the city’s bus system and cut down on gridlock.

“You’re looking at cutting commuting costs, time of the commute, costs of parking, costs of car maintenance, all that sort of stuff,” said Amanda Clelland, a spokesperson with Metro Transit Authority.

Clelland said more businesses are calling her office about access to bus routes. She said the city is working to build up the infrastructure.

“The city is really working to meet those challenges head-on in a way that’s going to help alleviate those growing pains. We’re all experiencing those growing pains, but you’re going to have that before things get better,” Clelland said.

The mayor’s office said it is working with the state to choose potential sites for the headquarters. Nashville’s proposal may go up against larger cities including Chicago, Dallas, Detroit and Los Angeles. Amazon must have the proposal by mid-October.

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