The Texas Bullet Train is driving a change in how economic development proposals are viewed in the state of Texas.
Recently, representatives of the Texas Bullet Train were asked about the economic impact the Bullet Train will have on recruiting Amazon’s HQ2. One of the proposed locations is in the surrounding area of the Train’s Dallas Station – in the Cedars neighborhood, just south of downtown Dallas.
The fact that this area is being looked at for an Amazon campus proves what all of us already know – transit-oriented development projects are very attractive and an example of the walkable spaces where you can live, work and play that companies are looking for.
Whether Amazon’s HQ2 ultimately ends up in this location or not, the Bullet Train will prove to be a differentiator that makes it more attractive to set up shop in North Texas, Houston or any other region along the route. Any location that is contemplating a submission for Amazon HQ2 (or any other lead) will benefit from the economic development and connectivity that the Texas Bullet Train will bring.
The Texas Bullet Train will drive the emergence of a “super economy” combining the economic might of Houston and North Texas with the institutional brain power of the 9th largest research institution in the country with the stop near Texas A&M University in the Brazos Valley. Connected by a short and reliable 90-minute train ride, this new High-Speed Bullet Train Economy will provide businesses with unparalleled access to workers, suppliers and other critical needs of a large company.
This new connectivity redefines how we think about a Metropolitan Statistical Area “MSA”. You can’t get across many MSAs in 90 minutes reliably. With the High-Speed Bullet Train Economy, by connecting these economic engines in this way, it will make the state even more competitive for future opportunities like Amazon HQ2 – a rising tide raises all boats.
It is a testament to the power of Texas business that the state is uniquely positioned to put forward numerous standalone HQ2 locations for Amazon’s consideration. And, if we think big, which the RFP asks us to do, we can envision a future with a distributed campus with access to urban, suburban and rural lifestyle choices.
This “new MSA” would boast a workforce of 7.2 million individuals, 33% of whom are ages 20-34 – millennials – and growing. And, to put it into perspective, this High-Speed Bullet Train MSA would boast an annual GDP of $998 billion – Mexico’s GDP is projected to be $987 billion this year.
The High Speed Bullet Train Economy is growing and currently home to:
- An annual $998 million GDP. (Mexico’s GDP is projected to be $987 million this year).
- 42 Fortune 500 headquarters, and 83 Fortune 1000 corporations.
- Growing workforce of 7.2 million individuals, 33% of which are millennials – ages 20-34.
- 3 international airports with non-stop service to 126 cities globally and 5 airports that connect to 272 locations in the U.S
- 6 tier-one universities and 31 universities, law schools, health science centers, etc. that include more than 340,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
- 16 community colleges with over 380,000 students enrolled.
- 12 different professional sports teams – football, baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, hockey and soccer in addition to numerous semi-pro teams.
- World class museums, parks, arts venues and programs.
Amazon is not just interested in the movement of people and ideas. Their core business is the movement of goods. With the Port of Houston and other world class, centrally-located multimodal freight infrastructure already moving goods across the country, a Texas location would align their people and their businesses. Welcome to Texas, Amazon. Y’all Aboard!