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Rival Amazon HQ2 bidders say they can deliver

Rival Amazon HQ2 bidders say they can deliver

It's great news Waterloo region is part of the Toronto bid which made the 20-city short list for Amazon's second headquarters, but don't get too excited yet, warns on economic development official.

In the bid it submitted to Amazon last October, Toronto was quick to point out that it met all the criteria the company specified in its search for a second corporate home.

For some of the 200-plus cities knocked out of the running for Amazon's second headquarters, the effort may turn out to be a trial run for other opportunities.

Word that Amazon planned to open a second North American headquarters sparked a torrent of proposals from cities eager to land the $5-billion investment and lure the projected 50,000 jobs to go with it. The company plans to make its decision sometime in 2018.

Both Texas and Pennsylvania had two cities that made the cut: Austin and Dallas, and Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. "All the proposals showed tremendous enthusiasm and creativity".

Whichever city Amazon picks, she said, should have an overall economic development strategy that takes existing businesses in neighboring communities into account.

"As much as this process helped identify our major assets, it also helped us to assess our gaps and where we can continue to improve", said Birgit Klohs, chief executive of Grand Rapids, Michigan-based The Right Place, Inc.

In September, Amazon released a request for proposals listing instructions for cities to apply for HQ2 and a list of preferences for the location.

"And if it's just about talent, I really like our chances, but I think there's some other considerations here". IL also offered the online retailer more than $2 billion in financial incentives.

"We have the amenities of New York without the problems of New York", Baraka said. Stonecrest, Ga., a new city on the eastern side of the metro Atlanta area, even proposed carving out the new city of Amazon, Ga., from its existing territory.

The company had stipulated that it was seeking to be near a metropolitan area with more than a million people; be able to attract top technical talent; be within 45 minutes of an worldwide airport; have direct access to mass transit; and be able to expand that headquarters to as much as 8 million square feet in the next decade.

However, officials have kept details on possible tax breaks and incentives quiet. Amazon shortlisted 19 cities in the United States and one in Canada.

He also favors a suggestion that mayors on the short list "form a pact to say no to incentives Amazon will expect".

Oliver wasn't the first to sound alarm bells over one of the most powerful tech companies in the world pressuring local governments to serve up financial incentives. "They are crucial to our ongoing success", he said. Maryland put forward an extremely strong group of sites that were all supported by the state with incentive packages totaling more than $5 billion, including road and transit improvements.

Earlier this week Apple also announced plans for a second corporate campus somewhere in the United States and said it would add another 20,000 employees. It is also home to a Whole Foods, a grocery store chair Amazon purchased previous year.

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