Prime Opportunity for St. Louis? Amazon Opens Search for 2nd headquarters

Violet Powell
September 8, 2017

The company is asking for requests for proposals from cities to be submitted by October 19. "We're excited to find a second home", the CEO said.

Bezos also said his company will have a preference for a city that can put the new headquarters in or near its downtown area and allow for a similar building layout to the Seattle facility.

The Seattle campus is spread across 33 buildings and employs more than 40,000 people.

Amazon was incorporated in 1994 in Seattle, and made its first online book sale in July 1995, with Bezos personally mailing packages to customers in the early days.

Real estate brokers say constraints in the Seattle market are sending Amazon looking for room to grow.

"Baltimore's strategic location in the Mid-Atlantic and its accessibility via highway, rail, port and air, make us a great fit for Amazon's second headquarters".

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Amazon's rise has not been without local critics, who say the influx of mostly well-heeled tech workers has caused housing prices to skyrocket, clogged the streets with traffic and changed the city for the worse. The online retailer is now soliciting pitches from cities and states for what it calls "Amazon HQ2". Bids are due on October 19 and Amazon will select a location sometime next year.

The announcement that Amazon is accepting proposals is "likely to set off a frenzy among state and local governments eager to recruit the retail juggernaut to their areas by offering the right mix of tax incentives and allowances", the Wall Street Journal reported.

It looks like Inc.'s expansion roadmap encompasses more than just new warehouses and cloud data centers. "I believe without question that it is beneficial for cities to attract large HQs such as Amazon's".

Amazon is looking to build its "HQ2" in North America, in a metropolitan area with a population over 1 million and room to build up to 8 million square feet of transit-accessible office space in a pedestrian-friendly setting.

In January, the company announced plans to create over 100,000 new full-time jobs in the U.S. It's been steadily announcing new fulfillment centers.

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