Amazon wants USA cities to bid for its second major headquarters

Ashley Carr
September 11, 2017

And there's this: "A highly educated labor pool is critical and a strong university system is required".

Amazon said Thursday, Sept. 7, that it will spend more than $5 billion to build another headquarters in North America to house as many as 50,000 employees. Amazon is already building an global air cargo hub across the river at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky worldwide airport. "It will require a uniquely creative and aggressive approach in technical workforce development, as well as space, city transit, financial incentives, educational assets, cultural amenities, air transportation and more". And yes, that's true even as it develops robots and artificial intelligence. Is Seattle continuing to hold Amazon's growth an option?

It turns out that many North American mayors would love to have problems like that. Milwaukee wants to be considered as the location. "They're looking for eight million square feet, that's the whole Seaport".

According to Amazon, the location does not need to be in an urban or downtown location, or a development-prepped site. Seattle is overdue for a major natural disaster, one that could cripple the region for months-a fact that is surely not lost on Bezos, a man accustomed to thinking on geologic time scales (he's building a 10,000-year clock as a side project).

Matt Regan, senior vice president of public policy for the Bay Area Council, said that several former military bases in Northern California - such as the Concord Naval Weapons Station, which has a nearby BART station - could work as an Amazon headquarters. In that tragic event, Amazon could fail-over to HQ2 in much the same way its network of data centers has redundancies to maintain service in a disaster.

"Amazon will want to be in a time zone farther east since they are now in Seattle", says Grady Gammage Jr., co-founder and partner at Gammage and Burnham. It's an understandable reaction. "Adding a second headquarters here is definitely a move we welcome".

"I don't think Seattle's anti-business".

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Whether that will give Fresno a leg up on other cities isn't clear.

An Amazon facility in Birmingham would be the second for the Yellowhammer State. "That's also why Chicago has led the nation in corporate relocations for the last four years". Already, this new office of which the size would be similar to that of the siege of Seattle (929.000 square meters) will host 50,000 employees, of which a majority of the new recruits.

Amazon opened bidding Thursday on its "HQ2". It may be disappointing, but also unsurprising.

Austin is no stranger to putting together incentive packages together. The company points to its Seattle location as evidence of this, claiming that investments in the site from 2010 to 2016 brought in an "additional $38 billion to the city's economy - every dollar invested by Amazon in Seattle generated an additional 1.4 dollars for the city's economy overall".

"This move will not be cost driven".

Cities are no doubt clamoring right this very month, making phone calls, asking various executives for meetings, pulling strings they can muster - just to get in Amazon's good graces.

So, Cunningham said, the LVEDC is already developing its proposal and has reached out to developers to see who is interested in being involved in the pitch to Amazon.

Other reports by My Hot News

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