Amazon last month revealed plans to open a second headquarters, and invited bids from the cities that wanted to host the headquarters – dubbed as HQ2 – which promises 50,000 new jobs and construction spending of more than $5 billion. On Monday, the retailer revealed that it had received 238 proposals from cities and regions across North America eyeing to get Amazon’s second headquarters.
Proposals – traditional and creative
“We received 238 proposals from across North America for #HQ2,” the Seattle-based company said in a tweet. “The team is excited to review each of them.”
Along with the number of proposals, the company also revealed a map showing that the proposals came from 54 states, districts, and territories in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. According to Amazon, seven U.S. states have not sent proposals: North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, Hawaii, Montana, Wyoming and Arkansas.
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Some of the proposals focused more on the traditional benefits such as tax breaks. For instance, New Jersey promised $7 billion in tax credits if the Amazon HQ2 comes to Newark. Detroit’s proposal includes an offer to set up shop in both the U.S. and Canada, according to ABC News. Some proposals were a bit on the creative side. In Georgia, Stonecrest offered to develop a city called Amazon using 345 acres of industrial land. The mayor of the Atlanta suburb of Stonecrest, Jason Lary, said that Jeff Bezos would be the mayor of that city for life, notes Reuters.
To make themselves stand apart, some cities also turned to stunts, like Tucson, Arizona gifted a 21-foot tall cactus to Amazon and New York lit the Empire State Building orange to match Amazon’s smile logo, notes ABC News. Further, Kansas City is also pretty keen to win the HQ2. Its Mayor, Sly James, recently gave 5-star reviews to about 1,000 products on Amazon, mentioning of course, Kansas City in every review, notes ZDNet.
Amazon second headquarters – details
Amazon clearly marketed its HQ2 well enough, promising to invest more than $5 billion in the construction and up to 50,000 jobs for locals. The company claimed that the Amazon HQ2 will be “a full equal to our current campus,” and will help generate “tens of thousands of additional jobs and tens of billions of dollars in additional investment in the surrounding community.” Amazon followed it up with another claim, saying every dollar invested into its first headquarters has generated $1.40 for Seattle’s economy.
Amazon also laid down specific requirements for the cities, saying that for the Amazon second headquarters they want a city with a population of at least 1 million people, close to international airports, universities and an established mass transit system. Despite the specifications, Amazon also received a bid from Alaska – the entire state has a population below a million – according to ABC News.
Amazon will make the decision next year, and would probably go for the city that will assist it in hiring top talent to stay competitive with rivals such as Google.
On Monday, Amazon shares closed down 1.69% at $966.30. Year to date, the stock is up almost 29%, while in the last three-months, it is down almost 6%.