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Austin’s bid is in for Amazon’s second headquarters

Thursday, October 19, 2017 by Jimmy Maas

Austin is officially in the race for perhaps the biggest corporate prize ever.

“This afternoon, we formally submitted the Austin-region bid for Amazon HQ2,” Mike Berman, senior vice president at the Austin Chamber of Commerce, said.

The quest to lure Amazon is one of the biggest – if not THE biggest – civic competitions on this continent. Everyone would like to be in on this one. If you have heard of a city, it has likely created some sort of bid because of what could be at stake.

Amazon is looking for a large city that can provide an educated, growing workforce, a strong economy and space to build a campus. In return, the company is promising to invest $5 billion in the community and eventually staff the campus with as many as 50,000 employees, most of them making close to six-figure incomes.

There have been numerous analyses – from Moody’s Analytics to The New York Times – determining lead cities in this hunt. Many of the usual metropolitan areas rise to the top, including New York, Los Angeles, Denver and Austin. Both Denver and Austin officially submitted their bids today.

Now that it’s done, the city plays the waiting game, along with dozens of other metropolitan areas.

“In their RFP (request for proposal), they left it vague in terms of saying it was 2018,” said Berman. “So, they said they’d make an announcement in 2018, but that’s as much as they provided.”

Amazon employs more than 6,000 people already in the Austin area, at its order fulfillment center in San Marcos and at Whole Foods, which it recently acquired.

This story was produced as part of the Austin Monitor’s reporting partnership with KUT. Screenshot from Amazon.com.

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