Native Americans Bid To Keep Amazon In Washington And Other HQ2 Pursuit Updates

Amid a flurry of national bids from cities looking to become the home of the second Amazon headquarters, interests in Washington state say the company should stay put.

by Lison Joseph, The Dallas Morning News / October 9, 2017
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(TNS) -- An Atlanta suburb is offering to rename itself "City of Amazon" to win the biggest economic development prize in modern history, Amazon's second headquarters site.

Memphis is showing it can play in the big leagues by dangling $60 million in incentives for the project that'll reward one lucky city with up to 50,000 high-paying jobs. But its cross-state competitor, Nashville, is being told it could wind up costing $1.7 billion in incentives to win.

Cost isn’t stopping Birmingham from being creative in its pursuit. It’s putting up giant shipping boxes throughout Alabama’s largest city to show how far it’s willing to go to become home to the $5 billion investment known as HQ2.

Those are some of the newest developments in the frenzy among North American cities to lure the Seattle ecommerce giant that outgrew its home base.

Amazon is giving cities a few tantalizing details to work with. It wants a stable, business-friendly environment, urban or suburban location with more than a million people, ability to attract and retain talent, within 45 minutes of an international airport and 8 million square feet of office space in nearby buildings or a 100-acre site.

Dallas, Austin, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Boston, Atlanta, and Denver are all seen as serious contenders. And Toronto surfaces as a dark horse candidate because of Canada’s more tech-friendly immigration laws.

Here’s a look at some of last week’s activity:

In North Texas

UTD/Richardson: The University of Texas at Dallas and the City of Richardson are offering more than 100 acres adjacent to the campus, much like its successful partnership with Texas Instruments.

Lewisville: The Denton County suburb, along with developer Bright Realty, is pitching a 135-acre site in the Castle Hills development on Sam Rayburn Tollway.

The Dallas Regional Chamber is evaluating sites throughout North Texas. Development groups are proposing Dallas locations ranging from Exposition Park in East Dallas to a 50-acre parcel that includes the former Reunion Arena and The Dallas Morning News to an 80-acre site near the popular Trinity Groves restaurant district. And a dozen or more suburban sites also are being considered.

Elsewhere in the U.S.

Nine cities and Native American tribes in Washington are joining forces to try to keep HQ2 from leaving the home state. Their proposal will include sites in Arlington, Bellevue, Bothell, Everett, Kenmore, Marysville, Renton, Lynnwood, Tukwila and land owned by the Tulalip Tribes.

Michigan-based Anderson Economic Group released its HQ2 Index that ranks cities based on factors that Amazon identified as important to it. Dallas came in at 8th — after New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia. Austin was 25th.

Denver’s metro pitch will highlight the Rocky Mountain region’s quality of life and educated workforce rather than corporate incentives. “We don’t have to lure them with financial incentives,” J.J. Ament, head of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp., told Denver Business Journal. “We are not going to be that [kind of] proposal.”

Cities have until Oct. 19 to get their best pitch to Amazon. The retail giant says it’ll decide by early next year.

©2017 The Dallas Morning News Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.