The Mayor of Raleigh, NC, on Why the City Is an Amazon HQ2 Contender

You might not think of Raleigh, North Carolina as a tech hub, but the mayor says the city will be ready to take up the mantle of Amazon’s second headquarters.

“We are in the process of implementing our transit system, so it actually is good timing,” Mayor Nancy McFarlane told Cheddar. “Whereas we might not be as advanced as some cities, the fact that they would be coming as we were putting that together, would really help us develop that system in a way that would support them, too.”

North Carolina’s capital city, host to operations from companies such as IBM, SAS, Red Hat, and Citrix, beat out the state’s financial center of Charlotte as one of the twenty finalists in Amazon’s search.

The city’s tech industry has been on the rise for several years, with the number of jobs growing nearly 40 percent from 2010 to 2015, outpacing the 21 percent growth in sector nationally. Raleigh is home to more than 500 start-ups and 14 incubator hubs.

But there are some potential concerns with winning the Amazon prize -- home prices could go up, making the city less affordable. And an influx of 50,000 new workers could put a strain on the city’s infrastructure. McFarlane, though, isn’t worried.

“It really always comes down to great planning,” she said. “That’s what has made Raleigh such a successful city.”

For full interview click here.

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