SEATTLE - Cities across North America have sprung to meet Amazon’s call for a second headquarters — HQ2 — equal to its Seattle base. Now the shopping giant’s home region is trying to entice the company to keep it local.
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Snohomish and King Counties are offering up their collective regions along with the Tulalip Tribes. Cities include: Arlington; Marysville; Bellevue; Bothell; Everett; Kenmore; Renton; Lynnwood; and Tukwila.
“Amazon’s announcement was the call to action we need to do our best work, to put aside parochial interests and small thinking and do what is right for workers and employers across the region and state,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “This is not just about Amazon and its need to expand. This is about fostering an environment that helps us attract, retain, and grow great businesses. Our job, every day, is to go toe-to-toe with any metropolitan area in the nation and the world – and win.”
The regional approach submitted by King and Snohomish Counties is a unique. Only the Bay Area has offered a similar regional idea. Instead of placing Amazon’s expansion in one city, the counties are jointly offering up their areas, along with nine cities and one tribe. The individual cities could offer separate incentives from faster permitting to worker training grants, according to the counties.
The exact details of the regional proposal are not yet known. King and Snohomish plan to deliver their bid to Amazon and the public on Oct. 17.
“Snohomish County is proud to join innovative, regional proposals for not only Amazon’s HQ2 but also other future economic development opportunities,” said Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers. “Our region has the best workforce, highest quality of life, and all the infrastructure that any major company or small business could want. Exciting things are happening in Snohomish County, including light rail, commercial service at Paine Field, UW Bothell, WSU Everett, and lots of growth. Employers looking for a place to call home need look no further than the Puget Sound region.”
Amazon’s home Puget Sound region joins a chorus of cities and areas vying for Amazon’s attention, and to ultimately become the site of its second headquarters.
Amazon announced in September that it aims to establish HQ2 — a second North American headquarters equal to its Seattle operation. Some have speculated that it was partially a jab at Seattle leaders and their attitudes toward the city’s largest employers. It’s a big move after all. HQ2 equates to $5 billion in construction and will host 50,000 jobs.
Since then, Tuscon, Ariz. has sent the company a 21-foot Saguaro cactus as a gift to get Amazon’s attention. Birmingham, Ala. has put in a bid for HQ2, as have Chicago, Philadelphia, even Washington D.C. Vancouver B.C. and Toronto up in Canada have also placed bids. Stonecrest, Georgia has even changed its name to “Amazon” to show its commitment to the company.
Despite looking beyond the Emerald City, Amazon recently announced it is leasing all the office space in a new skyscraper that is slated to be the second tallest building in the Northwest.
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