Over the last week or so I have read countless articles outlining how different municipalities are positioning themselves for the second corporate headquarters for Amazon. The e-commerce giant has issued a request for proposal stating that it will consider cities with more than a million people, a tech savvy workforce, a business friendly environment and the ability to “think big and creatively when considering locations and real estate options.”.
According to its request for proposals, Amazon will consider:
- Existing buildings of at least 500,000-plus square feet to start, meeting the core requirements and that are expandable or have additional options for development nearby.
- A greenfield site of approximately 100 acres certified or pad ready, with utility infrastructure in place (the Qualcomm site could accommodate). The sites do not have to be contiguous, but should be in proximity to each other to foster a sense of place and be pedestrian-friendly.
- Other infill, existing buildings, including opportunities for renovation/redevelopment and greenfield sites.
- Sites within 30 miles from a “population center,” within 45 minutes from an international airport, no more than 2 miles from major highways or arterial roads, and with access at the site to mass transit, which Amazon describes as “direct access to rail, train, subway/metro, bus routes.”
The competition will be cutthroat, as municipalities compile incentives of all kinds to lure Amazon their way. Amazon’s HQ2 could eventually employ in excess of 50,000 employees, and spanning over 8 million square feet by 2027, and costing over $5 billion.
Already, Baltimore, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, Houston, New York, Toronto, Sacramento, and of course San Diego are among the municipalities expected to submit bids.