Date
24 November 2017
An Amazon fulfillment center is seen in this picture taken in Goodyear, Arizona. The e-commerce giant plans to invest US$5 billion on a second headquarters facility, adding to its existing one in Seattle. Photo: Bloomberg
An Amazon fulfillment center is seen in this picture taken in Goodyear, Arizona. The e-commerce giant plans to invest US$5 billion on a second headquarters facility, adding to its existing one in Seattle. Photo: Bloomberg

Several US cities vie to host Amazon second headquarters

Several cities and states in the United States as well as Canadian authorities are vying for Amazon’s attention as the e-commerce giant seeks to set up a massive second headquarters facility.

BBC reports that more than 100 cities have expressed interest in hosting Amazon’s planned new headquarters, which is expected to create 50,000 new jobs.

The contenders include Boston, Miami, Austin, Chicago, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Newark, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Nashville, Memphis and Detroit, apart from many other names.

As a public contest to bid for housing the planned new business facility is set to close on Thursday, several US state governors as well as the Canadian prime minister have made pitches.

Some proposals involve offers of tax credits worth as much as US$7 billion, according to Reuters.

Competition has been intense as Amazon announced that it would invest about US$5 billion on the  new headquarters, which will be a “full equal” to its existing Seattle base.

For its “Amazon HQ2″, the technology giant is seeking a metropolitan area of more than a million people with good education infrastructure, mass transit and likely lower costs than Seattle.

Amazon has said it will announce a decision next year.

“There is no better place to do business than Canada,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a letter to Amazon’s Chief Executive Jeff Bezos, Reuters reports.

Among US states, New Jersey proposed US$7 billion in potential credits against state and city taxes if Amazon locates in Newark and sticks to hiring commitments.

Meanwhile, the mayor of the Atlanta suburb of Stonecrest, Jason Lary, said his city would use 345 acres of industrial land and create a new city called Amazon. Bezos would be its mayor for life, Lary said.

Jerry Brown, California’s governor, said in a letter to Bezos seen by Reuters that Amazon could claim some US$300 million in incentives and benefits under current law.

A California assemblyman also introduced a bill on Thursday that could offer Amazon US$1 billion in tax breaks over the next decade.

Many governments are declining to tip their hands, however, worried about the competition.

Still, other candidates have simply taken the opportunity to market themselves.

“Hey Amazon, we need to talk,” ran an ad for Little Rock, Arkansas in the Washington Post on Thursday.

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RC

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