Chicago to bid for Amazon's second headquarters

Chicago to bid for Amazon's second headquarters

Amazon made the possibility awfully enticing.

Amazon announced on it is hunting for a site for a new headquarters in North America-dubbed HQ2-in addition to its sprawling Seattle hub, and called for cities to submit their proposals.

The company will accept project proposals until October 19, giving cities relatively little time to pull together complex plans.

The company is looking for a location with strong local and regional talent, focused in the areas of software development and related fields. Governor Jay Inslee's office said he'd be in touch about expansion opportunities in-state. "We are committed to continuing that legacy", she said. Wisconsin's legislature recently voted to give Taiwanese manufacturer a $3-billion incentive package to build a $10-billion liquid crystal display factory in the state, for example. He declined to bash the incentives.

In Seattle, its rise has not been without critics, who say the influx of mostly well-heeled tech workers has caused housing prices to skyrocket, clogged the streets with traffic and changed the city for the worse. "What's the public benefit versus the public cost?" The final site selection will be announced in 2018.

Cities from around the country, including Chicago, Baltimore, Nashville, New York, quickly expressed interest Thursday.

"We expect HQ2 to be a full equal to our Seattle headquarters", Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive of Amazon, said in a statement.

Business groups jumped to defend Amazon-although they hadn't asked for it-against Seattle's business environment. Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum has already publically said the city would be a flawless community, and the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce is showing enthusiasm as well for the idea.

"Few places in the country and in the world for that matter combine our business climate with our quality of life", Ament added.

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Amazon has been awarded more than US$1 billion in state and local subsidies since 2000, according to estimates by watchdog Good Jobs First. By 2022, the company is expected to occupy 12 million square feet in the city, up from 8 million now. Arizona is home to four Amazon facilities located in Chandler, Goodyear, Phoenix and Tempe.

"While there are may encouraging business reasons for Amazon to set up shop in MI, I firmly believe that our most impressive asset is the incredible, hard-working Michiganders who make our state the best in the nation".

Bloomberg argues only a handful of cities are eligible to be home to Amazon's second headquarters because of many factors, such as its requirements, tax incentives, and several cultural aspects.

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman said Minnesota could provide that.

Amazon has apparently become too big for its high-rise corporate headquarters in downtown Seattle.

The state plans to "continue to aggressively court Amazon in hopes that it expands its footprint in Texas and establishes its new headquarters here", Gov. Greg Abbott spokesman John Wittman said.

Even before Dayton officially said the state would work to lure Amazon, Minneapolis state Rep. Paul Thissen, another Democratic gubernatorial candidate, said it should. "And we have excellent sites for potential development including the St. Paul Ford plant property or the Arden Hills armory site". Texas leads the way with the value of subsidies to Amazon, followed by Kentucky, Ohio and IL, it said.

Cities have by October 19 to submit their proposals, and Amazon will make its decision next year.

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