Wall Street Journal analysis picks 3 likely front-runners for Amazon HQ2

Seattle chalk artist John Rozich drew this map of the 238 regions to respond to Amazon’s HQ2 RFP. The mural is located in Amazon’s Day 1 tower. (Amazon Photo / Jordan Stead)

Dallas, Boston, and Washington D.C. have the best chances of landing Amazon’s second corporate headquarters, according to a new analysis from the Wall Street Journal.

Update: Atlanta and Seattle tied with D.C. for third place based on the report’s criteria but The Journal called out the three cities listed above as having “the strongest characteristics for a second headquarters.”

WSJ used “Amazon’s criteria, interviews with site selection experts and people familiar with Amazon’s thinking,” to evaluate top North American cities’ chances of landing the $5 billion project. The Journal ranked each city based on preferences outlined in Amazon’s request for proposals and compared each city to Seattle, home to Amazon HQ1.

Related: Amazon HQ2 deadline day: Everything you need to know about the biggest headquarters contest ever

Dallas, Texas scored highest overall with help from its favorable tax climate. Like Washington, Texas has no state income tax.

Boston came in second thanks to a big population of college grads and culture fit. Washington, D.C.’s fiscal health and tech labor force earned it third place.

GeekWire co-founder John Cook picked six potential candidates in his analysis here, while GeekWire’s own number-crunching in September pointed to cities such as Toronto, Ottawa, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Atlanta, and Washington D.C.

It may surprise Seattleites to learn that Atlanta is its most similar sister city, according to the Journal. The report draws a comparison between the two based on factors like cost of living, fiscal health, and college population. New York topped the list in sheer tech talent.

Amazon HQ2 will eventually host up to 50,000 employees and be “fully equal” to the company’s original Seattle headquarters. The e-commerce giant received proposals from 238 cities across North America vying for the jobs and investment that HQ2 will bring. Amazon plans to make the final site selection and announcement in 2018 and break ground in 2019.

Read the Wall Street Journal’s full analysis here.