238 Cities Bid for Amazon HQ2

Many proposals contained videos showing off what the municipalities had to offer.

by Arnessa Garrett, The Dallas Morning News / October 24, 2017
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(TNS) -- Amazon said Monday in a tweet that it had received 238 proposals from cities and regions looking to be home for the $5 billion second headquarters that the company is planning to build.

The Seattle-based company sparked a feeding frenzy after its announcement in September that it was launching a search for a place to put what it has called HQ2. Last Thursday was the deadline for cities and regions to submit proposals to Amazon. The company said it was looking for a North American city with a least one million people, good access to airports and transit options, a business-friendly environment, and the ability to retain top tech talent.

In the tweet, Amazon said it would be reviewing proposals.

According to The Associated Press, 43 U.S. states as well as Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico sent in proposals to Amazon. Arkansas, Hawaii, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming were the only states to pass on sending in an application.

Three Mexican states and six Canadian provinces also put in bids, the AP said.

DFW was among the regions that sent in a video with its bid. It showcases the area's diversity and has some stunning aerial photography. And DFW wasn't the only city with the idea to do a video.

Enough HQ2 videos from cities are circulating on the Internet that it could almost qualify as a new genre. Nearly all the videos have some combination of views of the city's skyline, emphasis on innovation and education, and scenes of diversity.

Here is our take on some of the ones we've seen.

Detroit

With a gritty feel and backed by narration that is like a spoken-word poem, Detroit's video definitely gives a sense of the place. The video touts Detroit as a city making a comeback, and hearkens to its Motor City roots as a center of innovation. It has a powerful ending pitch too, "Design here. Design the world. Build here. You'll build the world. Create here. Create the world. Move here. Move the world."

Boston

Boston submitted two videos -- one with technical details of a potential site for HQ2 and another that displayed the city's rich history. No one speaks in the Boston video, which has a soundtrack that is vaguely reminiscent of a fife and drum corps. Instead, you hear snippets from historical figures like JFK and Alexander Graham Bell to remind you of the city's long history of innovation.

Atlanta

Rather than showing a montage of what makes the city great, Atlanta's video went with a single narrative arc -- following a woman who is supposedly delivering its HQ2 proposal to Seattle. Along the way, she showcases some of what Amazon is looking for including transit options and an airport that offers 11 daily flights to Seattle.

Amazon said it will make its decision early next year on where to put its second headquarters. It has said little else about the process, such as whether it will make public a short list of contenders before picking a winner.

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