Amazon is still looking for a location for its new headquarters.
A week after learning Houston didn’t even make the top 20 list, city leaders are reflecting on what went wrong.
Several big cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Dallas, are still in the running for Amazon’s HQ2.
“None of us like to lose…and then our neighbors to the north, too? Oh, Lord, have mercy,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner during Wednesday’s city council meeting.
Turner says the city is putting together a summit to take a deep dive into how Houston can stay competitive.
However, other city council members already have some ideas.
“We’ve lost out to Amazon due to the fact that we do not have mass transportation. We have two rail lines right now halfway to Hobby Airport, yet we can’t get there,” said Councilman Robert Gallegos.
Others question whether Houston’s Innovation Corridor was the best choice for the proposal. Other finalists, including Dallas, reportedly promoted their whole region rather than one city.
“Why are we marketing the same areas of town all the time? We have parts of this city that’s begging for development,” said Larry Green, Houston City Council.
HQ2 is expected to come with a $5 billion investment and as many as 50,000 high paying jobs. That’s why Amazon says it’s looking for an educated workforce and strong university system.
“Among the top 10 metros, Houston is dead last in producing a number of college graduates. That is not OK,” said Karla Cisneros, Houston City Council.
The mayor candidly said he isn’t surprised Amazon passed, because he wasn’t impressed with Houston’s pitch, either.
“I was not surprised with the outcome, because we didn’t put forth our best effort,” Turner said. “We do have to be aggressive. We do have to be visionary. We cannot rest on our previous accomplishments.”