Nearly a month after Amazon announced its plans to build a second global headquarters somewhere in North America, mayors and business development officials throughout the continent have been falling all over themselves to get noticed by the world’s third-largest retailer.
The benefits, according to Amazon, are quite lucrative. Based off figures from its main campus in Seattle, an Amazon headquarters could create as many as 50,000 direct jobs, boost indirect employment by 53,000, and create $38 billion in economic activity. A major tax incentive would be helpful, but as the Oct. 19 deadline to submit a proposal looms near, everyone’s looking for a way to stand out.
In its request for proposals on its website, Amazon said it wants its “HQ2” to be the “equal” of its Seattle base of operations, which currently consists of 33 buildings covering more than 8 million square feet of office space.
Some cities are launching social-media campaigns, while others have bigger plans to build their undeveloped land to suit Amazon. One Georgia city, Stonecrest, proposes to create a new “city of Amazon.”
— Steve Gehlbach (@SteveGWSB) October 3, 2017
The city’s resolution asks the Georgia General Assembly to form the city of Amazon on that land, located off Lithonia Industrial Boulevard and Coffee Road in DeKalb County.
“There are several major U.S. cities that want Amazon, but none has the branding opportunity we are now offering this visionary company,” said Stonecrest Mayor Jason Lary. “How could you not want your 21st-century headquarters to be located in a city named Amazon?”
Amazon is seeking a 175-acre site located near an international airport, public transit and high quality of living.
The proposed city of Amazon could enter into an agreement with the city of Stonecrest to provide city services, said Lary, noting that officials are submitting their bid.
Stonecrest, which includes around 53,000 residents in southeast DeKalb, incorporated as a city this year after voters approved it in a November referendum.
Birmingham, Alabama, and surrounding Jefferson County jointly commissioned the construction of three giant replicas of an Amazon box, which were placed around town so locals can pose for photos with them. They added a hashtag, #bringAtoB, and posted a 15-second video of aerial shots of Birmingham, decorated with the huge Amazon boxes.
— Bring A to B (@BringAtoB) September 25, 2017
The North Texas city of Frisco is also in hot pursuit of the prize, with their campaign highlighting some of the area’s newest projects, including Dallas Cowboys’ practice facility, The Star in Frisco, and Jamba Juice’s relocated headquarters.
The city — which is about 40 percent undeveloped — has also submitted a list of possible sites for the headquarters, all situated along the Dallas North Tollway, according to Dallas Business Journal reporting.
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