Los Angeles Makes Amazon's Shortlist For HQ2

Los Angeles Makes Amazon's Shortlist For HQ2

Kerry Wise
January 22, 2018

"Our combination of high-tech talent, transportation connectivity, cultural diversity and purpose-driven quality of life made for a compelling proposal that complemented the county and state's significant financial incentives".

New York City was also on the list, as was the nearby city of Newark, New Jersey.

"If he can talk to the leadership, if he and his selection team actually make it to the area, I think we're going to be more competitive", Hicks said.

The Mesilla Valley Economic Alliance in Las Cruces and the Border Industrial Association in Santa Teresa, a small residential and large industrial area near El Paso's Upper Valley, submitted a proposal for Amazon's HQ2 to be put in a proposed Santa Teresa/San Jeronimo, Mexico, binational campus named Los Santos.

Vallejo Chamber of Commerce President and CEO James Cooper said he was disappointed but not surprised by Amazon's decision to exclude Vallejo from the finalists list. Or, it may be part of a larger proposal from a partnership of economic development agencies that included the Triangle region.

Among others, these 20 areas include: Atlanta, Ga.; Austin, Tex.; Boston, Mass.; Denver, Colo.; Miami, Fla.; Nashville, Tenn.; Northern Virginia, Va.; and Toronto, Ontario. Amazon's decision is expected to come by the end of the year.

"It's a long list, for a shortlist", said Jed Kolko, chief economist at job site Indeed.

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In the coming months, the company said it will work with each of the locations to "dive deeper" into their proposals, obtain more information and evaluate how the city could accommodate Amazon's hiring plans and benefit its workers and the local community. "It's hard to say whether all these places are in play or Amazon wanted to encourage continued competition", Mr. Kolko said.

Arkansas was one of seven states that did not have a city in the running.

"Newark was the clear victor of this competition, and Newark has earned the state's support", Christie said, citing the city's status as a unique education, technology, transportation, and cultural hub. Neither did Birmingham, Alabama, which installed giant replicas of Amazon's Dash buttons.

The company's wish list included proximity to a metropolitan area with more than a million people; ability to attract top technical talent, a location 45 minutes from an worldwide airport, direct access to mass transit, and the capacity to expand the headquarters to more than 740,000 square metres over the next decade. Amazon made clear that tax breaks and grants would be a big factor in deciding what entry prevailed.

Such viral marketing stunts, combined with the very public promotion of the contest by Amazon, make the whole thing seem like a dystopian reality TV show, where cities gamble taxpayers' money in the hope that this global corporate Midas will grace them with its presence.

PAY UP: Boston and MA are unlikely to match the sky-high incentive offers made by other states, including $7 billion from New Jersey and $5 billion from Maryland. Several say they don't want their competitors to know what they're offering, a stance that open-government advocates criticized.

Chicago has been named a finalist in Amazon's search for its second headquarters, known as HQ2.