A strong competition takes place between large European cities for attracting international head offices in especially the services sector. This paperinvestigates the spatial economic and employment impacts of developing such a top location. First, a theoretical overview is presented on generativeeconomic growth and the locational behaviour of companies. Then attention is paid to the potential employment and spatial economic impacts (bothdistributive and generative) of such a project. In the second part of the paper, a case study is presented for Amsterdam South, which the localgovernment wishes to develop as an international top office location. It appears that there are indications of generativeemployment impacts, but that there may also occur distributive effects, e.g. relocation of firms from the city centre towards the new location. It isconcluded that both psychological factors and a careful planning are very important for the development of top locations. When a project is successful,new employment may be generated, but undesirable distributive impacts may be substantial.