Seattle-based Amazon is looking for another city to build its second headquarters and has plans to invest $5 billion and create 50,000 jobs over 10 to 15 years. Several bids from the Northeast have been submitted ahead of today’s deadline.
Dozens of communities across the nation have bids in to Amazon in hopes the internet retail giant will select their locale to site a massive second headquarters – known as “Amazon HQ2” – in North America.
Westchester County and New York’s Capital Region are among the communities in WAMC’s coverage area trying to lure the company. County Executive Rob Astorino touts Westchester as “the smartest choice.” “We have everything that Amazon is looking for and more. “We’ve got talent. We’ve got accessibility, quality of life. We’ve got value and we’ve got locations, locations, locations.”
On Thursday, the Albany-based Center for Economic Growth submitted several "Tech Valley" sites to Amazon. CEG president and CEO Andrew Kennedy says the e-commerce giant encouraged bidders to "think big and bold." "The Albany gondola would be one that creates a unique transportation option that would connect our train station, Rensselaer waterfront and the heart of downtown in Albany." Kennedy envisions two campuses connected via gondola.
Troy Common Council President Carmella Mantello tells WAMC she favors a regional approach. "I wrote a letter to the governor and to the Capital Region Economic Development Commission to all work together to try to lure Amazon, whether it's in Troy or Saratoga or wherever, it would benefit Saratoga or Cohoes, would benefit Troy. So Amazon, I'm all for it, and if we can land it here in the Capital Region it would be just a huge boost to all of us."
But the competition is plentiful — and steep.
Boston and the Pioneer Valley-Hartford corridor are also hoping to attract Amazon. Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy says his state "is filled with spirit and ingenuity, and is the perfect location for a global company like Amazon to position its next headquarters."
Springfield City Council President Orlando Ramos tells WAMC Springfield itself doesn't have the population Amazon seeks, but in the area that stretches from Amherst, Massachusetts to Hartford, Connecticut – dubbed the Knowledge Corridor – there are over 3 million people. "Well we also have a very unique place here with where we have urban areas, suburban areas, we have great natural resources, just a beautiful place and I think if they come here and take a look around they'll be really impressed with what they see." [More]
Sunday's Boston Globe featured a “newsroom commentary” piece titled “Dear Jeff” detailing why Beantown should be chosen — and how Amazon could help solve Boston’s problems.
Governor Andrew Cuomo sent a letter to Amazon Founder, Chairman & CEO Jeff Bezos on Thursday, which accompanied each of New York's four submissions: Buffalo/Rochester; Syracuse/Utica/Mohawk Valley; Albany/Capital Region; and New York City/Long Island/Mid-Hudson.
Here's a list of cities in the running... Amazon is expected to pick the finalist in 2018.