Amazon has big plans to build a new massive headquarters in North America. The company is taking bids for the new project, and plans to invest $5 billion to construct and create up to 50,000 high paying jobs on its new campus. The new headquarters will be comparable to its existing campus in Seattle. Many cities are vying to be the next Seattle, which has seen higher wages and lower unemployment since Amazon made the city its base headquarters. The building will be approximately 8 million square feet and has been dubbed the “Cadillac of corporate headquarters.”
Amazon invited cities and regional economic development companies across North America to submit proposals by October 19. The company will be evaluating prospective metropolitan areas based on eight specific criteria:
- Site of building. Amazon is looking for at least 500,000 square feet to build the new headquarters, which is within 30 miles of the population center (of at least 1 million people) and 45 minutes to the nearest international airport.
- Capital Investment offsets. Amazon is seeking “stable and business-friendly regulations and tax structure” from state and local governments to offset its initial capital outlay and operational expenses.
- Tax Incentives. Amazon is requesting specific incentives in proposals such as tax credits and relocation grants, and the calculation of total incentives that will be granted to do business on an ongoing basis in the state.
- Labor Force. Amazon is looking for a location with an available pool of skilled talent when it begins hiring 50,000 workers. The company desires a strong university system in the area, and has asked that proposals include specific examples of the types of relevant degrees and the number of students who graduated in the last three years with the skill sets needed to be hired by Amazon.
- Logistics. One of Amazon’s top priorities is to find a location that is logistically able to meet the company’s demands for mass transportation, major highways and connecting roads, and easy access to an international airport. Amazon also wants an analysis of the local traffic congestion during peak commuting hours, and other transit options such as bike lanes and pedestrian walkways.
- Timeframe of building process. Amazon is seeking a time table for the competing city’s permit process and plans to complete Phase I of the building process (the first 500,000 to 1 million square feet of building space).
- Cultural diversity. The company desires to locate in a diverse community with a strong higher education system.
- Quality of Life. Amazon wants a desirable location that has affordable housing prices, recreational opportunities, reasonable cost of living and low crime rates.
Source: “Everything Amazon wants for HQ2, the massive new headquarters it’s planning in North America,” by Alison Griswold, Quartz, September 7, 2017
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