Hun­dreds of cities bid to be­come home to second Ama­zon HQ

Mail & Guardian - - News -

Ama­zon said this week it had re­ceived 238 pitches from places across North Amer­ica vy­ing to be home to its second head­quar­ters.

It’s the prize of a life­time — a $5-bil­lion investment that will cre­ate 50 000 well-paid jobs that ev­ery­one wants, but only one city will get.

“We re­ceived 238 pro­pos­als from across North Amer­ica for #HQ2,” the Seat­tle-based in­ter­net colos­sus said in a post from its of­fi­cial Twit­ter ac­count.

“The team is ex­cited to re­view each of them.”

From east to west and north to south, me­trop­o­lises across the United States are locked in a fren­zied bid­ding war, des­per­ate to woo Ama­zon into favour­ing them as the site of the e-com­merce gi­ant’s second head­quar­ters.

Pro­pos­als were also re­ported to have come from Canada and Mex­ico.

From $7-bil­lion in tax breaks in Ne­wark, New Jer­sey — which 50 years ago was aflame with deadly race ri­ots — to a gi­ant cac­tus shipped in­ter-state from Tuc­son in Ari­zona, bids ranged from the ex­tremely am­bi­tious to the silly before the dead­line for sub­mis­sions re­cently passed.

The e-com­merce gi­ant an­nounced last month that it planned to in­vest more than $5-bil­lion in open­ing Ama­zon HQ2, a second com­pany head­quar­ters in North Amer­ica that would also cre­ate tens of thou­sands of spin-off jobs.

“We ex­pect HQ2 to be a full equal to our Seat­tle head­quar­ters,” promised Ama­zon founder Jeff Be­zos, the US’s second-rich­est bil­lion­aire, who is worth $85.8-bil­lion.

The un­usual an­nounce­ment un­leashed com­pet­i­tive streaks na­tion­wide as some of the US’s most glit­ter­ing cities vied with lesser­known back­wa­ters seek­ing to exit obliv­ion.

In ad­di­tion to di­rect hir­ing and investment, Ama­zon ex­pects con­struc­tion and op­er­a­tion of HQ2 to cre­ate thou­sands more jobs.

Ama­zon said in an on­line post that it is mak­ing the se­lec­tion of its second head­quar­ters a pub­lic process be­cause “we want to find a city that is ex­cited to work with us”.

It has ex­pressed a pref­er­ence for places with more than one mil­lion peo­ple, a busi­ness-friendly en­vi­ron­ment and ur­ban or sub­ur­ban lo­ca­tions able to at­tract and re­tain strong tech­ni­cal tal­ent.

A study com­mis­sioned by World Busi­ness Chicago claimed that, in 17 years, HQ2 would gen­er­ate $341-bil­lion in to­tal spend­ing, in­clud­ing $71-bil­lion in salaries. — AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.