If Chicago lands Amazon’s HQ2, will scores of residents be priced out of their neighborhoods?

With Chicago now one of 20 major metro areas making the cut as finalists for Amazon’s second headquarters, area homeowners might wonder if landing Amazon would be simultaneously a blessing and a curse.

The online retailing behemoth would bring an economic windfall to any metro area it chooses with its second headquarters, dubbed HQ2, which could span as much as 8 million-plus square feet of office space and spawn as many as 50,000 well-paying jobs along with $5 billion in investment over the next decade and a half.

But would such a rapid influx of professionals also price scores of Chicagoans out of their neighborhoods? Experts say no.

With all the usual caveats applying — even if Amazon chooses Chicago for HQ2, no one yet knows which part of the city or suburbs the company would select — economists were quick to acknowledge that while Amazon’s arrival would be a nice stimulant for Chicago’s housing market, it would hardly turn the region, or even parts of it, into a place where soaring rents and stratospheric home prices are the norm.

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