Amazon has sparked a bidding war, and it’s only just beginning.
The e-commerce giant said on Thursday that it was soliciting bids from cities across North America for a place to build its second headquarters — its first outside of the Seattle area.
Amazon said it would invest $5 billion in the construction of its new headquarters, and it hopes to eventually house 50,000 Amazon staff members there, gradually building up its workforce.
“We expect HQ2 to be a full equal to our Seattle headquarters,” CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement. “Amazon HQ2 will bring billions of dollars in up-front and ongoing investments, and tens of thousands of high-paying jobs. We’re excited to find a second home.”
Unsurprisingly, cities across the United States and Canada are jumping on the opportunity to lure Amazon to their neck of the woods. Many officials have already said they’re planning to submit a formal proposal to the company.
Amazon has some requirements, however. Its new home would ideally be in a city with at least 1 million people, an international airport, and a “stable and business-friendly environment.”
Of course, that means cities will need to offer incentives to the company for it to move there.
“Incentives offered by the state/province and local communities to offset initial capital outlay and ongoing operational costs will be significant factors in the decision-making process,” the company said.
We’ve found nearly 50 cities whose officials have said they are looking into or preparing to submit a proposal to Amazon. Bids are due October 19.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has already spoken to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos about the possibility of opening a headquarters in the city. Several other corporations — including McDonald’s, Kraft Heinz, and Conagra Brands — have recently planned to move their base from the suburbs to this Midwestern hub.
Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota
Gov. Mark Dayton said in a statement that city and regional nonprofits and development agencies were working on a proposal for an Amazon headquarters in the Twin Cities.
Mayor John Tory called the race for the Amazon headquarters “the Olympics of bidding.”
“We should be bidding for this and be very, very competitive, and I’m in the midst of talking to the other governments to make sure that’s what we do,” he said Thursday, according to The Toronto Star.