Amazon.com Inc. is currently headquartered in Seattle, Washington, but last month the tech giant began searching for a second home in North America. The bids have been rolling in since the September 7th announcement—the most recent report is that “283 cities and regions” have submitted bids. Bids were due on October 19, and reportedly, only 7 U.S. states do not have a city in the running.
The company says their ideal city would have a population of at least one million, an international airport, and a “stable and business-friendly environment.” The creation of a new headquarters will be a $5 billion investment for Amazon, and the new office is slated to eventually be home to 50,000 Amazon employees, a workforce which would be built gradually over time. There’s certainly no mystery why cities are falling over themselves to woo the e-commerce behemoth.
Speaking of wooing, some cities have resorted to pulling stunts to separate themselves from the pack. Tucson, Arizona sent a 21-foot cactus to the Seattle HQ, and Stonecrest, Georgia (outside of Atlanta), offered up 345 acres of industrial land to create a new town: Amazon, Georgia, of which Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos would be mayor.
Most cities stick with the basics, putting together tax incentive packages, and highlighting characteristics of their cities in-line with Amazon’s needs (e.g. available tech talent, cultural fit). There’s no word yet on who the winner might be, but Amazon plans to have “one million square feet of office space ready in 2019,” so it’s only a matter of time. Keep your eyes on the headlines!
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