Amazon still considering District, suburbs for new HQ

Michelle & Chris Gerard

Michelle & Chris Gerard

A Wall Street Journal analysis put Dallas-Fort Worth as being the top contender.

Construction flagger Robin Kocher is pulling for Atlanta to be chosen by Amazon for its second headquarters because it's in the South and the South needs any help it can get.

Following this announcement, students from Dora High School created a video listing all the ways and reasons why coming to Birmingham would be beneficial for Amazon as well as Alabamians. But what if there's something it wants more?

On-line retailing behemoth Amazon has announced the 20 finalist cities in the hotly contested race to become home to the company's second headquarters.

Amazon still considering District, suburbs for new HQ

According to Amazon's statement, the company "plans to invest over $5 billion and grow this second headquarters to accommodate as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs". Amazon officials said they reviewed 238 proposals from the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

It remains unclear where city leaders have designated potential sites for Amazon's HQ2 within its greater Central Texas region.

"There's 20 cities on there". Toronto was the only Canadian city to make the list, alongside 19 mainly megatropolis-type US cities like Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia.

In its initial ask, Amazon told candidate cities it was looking to build in a city of 1 million residents with easy access to mass transit, close proximity to an global airport, a diverse metro population and attractive recreational opportunities. It had almost 542,000 employees at the end of September, a 77 percent jump from the year before. As my colleague Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow Aaron Renn noted, "n$3 ot even the most ardent anti-subsidy person out there is going to take a pass" on trying to woo Amazon. That breaks down to around $1.6 billion in tax breaks and $400 million in infrastructure and capital spending around the project, the sources said. In its request for proposal, Amazon emphasized that these incentive packages would "be significant factors in the decision-making process", although many others, including the broader tax and regulatory environment would also play a significant role.

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But Hamilton-area residents may yet benefit directly from Toronto's bid, which was packaged to showcase GTA regional strengths and locations stretching all the way to Burlington.

In Seattle, Amazon's headquarters spans 33 buildings and 8.1 million square feet.

Landscaper Leonard Wyman said he hopes Austin is chosen because he has family there "and this would be good for them", but he himself holds out no hope for any reduction in the Seattle area's growing pains. Worldwide, the company now employs 540,000 people. Or maybe, just maybe, other tech companies have seen our pitch and will think this might be the place for them.

For areas considered longshots, going after Amazon was a bit of an experiment. And the city has other pluses over competitors, according to Aisha Glover, president of the Newark Community Economic Development Corporation. "We're always looking to get into the game to win". "We're looking forward to the next steps and are in direct contact with Amazon to begin that process".

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The plan offered to Amazon would create a "Transformative Headquarters Economic Assistance Program" under the administration of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority to grant tax credits for establishing a corporate headquarters in New Jersey.

The Amazon invitation for proposals, first made by the company in November, is a rich economic development target.

Rockland County will apparently not be in the running for Amazon's HQ2, but the mega-company did not rule out possible investment in the future.

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