The announcement by Amazon.com that it wants to build a second corporate headquarters that will be the coequal of the current one in Seattle has sparked rare excitement in the major cities across the United States. Everyone will want the five billion dollar investment and the 50,000 jobs that the new facility brings with it.

However, for a number of reasons, #Houston, Texas has to be the front runner for the site of the new headquarters. The fourth largest city in America, as the Houston Chronicle points out, has some inherent advantages that few if any of the competition possesses.

The benefits of coming to Houston

Texas is one of the most business friendly states in the Union, with low taxes and a light regulatory environment.

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Moreover, the state and local governments will be quite eager to provide whatever incentives Amazon might require locating its headquarters in Houston.

Houston also has the #Real Estate available. The contraction in the energy industry has freed up quite a bit of space downtown that could be used for the Amazon headquarters. Alternatively, space exists where Astroworld used to be near a major freeway and a station on the main commuter #Rail Line. Housing and real estate prices are low compared to those in Seattle.

The city also has a lot of transportation infrastructure, including a major sea port, two large air ports, and a highway network. The planned privately financed high-speed rail line to Dallas would be a great enhancement. The prospect of Amazon coming to Houston might prove to be an incentive for the Texas Hyperloop which would connect the major cities of the Lone Star State.

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Houston has a well-educated, diverse work force and some world class universities that can turn out more of the sort of employees Amazon needs. Moreover, the city has the renowned Texas Medical Center, perfect for the company’s plans to move into health care, and the aerospace hub centered on the Johnson Spaceflight Center,

Some disadvantages

The first disadvantage that comes to mind is traffic, a problem that is likely common for a lot of cities. The city could use the prospect of Amazon coming to town to build more mass transit and freeway infrastructure.

Houston is in the center of a hurricane zone and, as Harvey demonstrated [VIDEO], tends to flood. However, an incentive package might include an enhancement of the city’s flood control infrastructure, something that is badly needed in any case.

The bottom line

Amazon should forget about building its headquarters in a blue state like California, Illinois, or any place in the northeast. The tax and regulatory environments in those placed are just too challenging; The company is looking to moving a lot of its corporate operations out of Seattle, due to its high real estate market and it's high tax and regulatory culture. Besides being more business friendly, Houston has too many inherent advantages to pass over.