Amazon photo of their Seattle Campus

Schumer: Buffalo- And Rochester- Emerge In Bid For Amazon HQ #2

The Push to Bring Massive Development To WNY

Dave Debo
September 21, 2017 - 6:28 am
Categories: 

(WBEN) As cities nationwide respond to Amazon's request to find a location for it's secondary headquarters, US Senator Charles Schumer has scheduled a talk with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to discuss the merits of bringing the massive facility to either Rochester or Buffalo.

The e-commerce giant said it would invest $5 billion in the headquarters and that it plans to eventually house 50,000 Amazon employees there.   Earlier this month they started a nationwide feeding frenzy among economic development officials across the entire country, by issuing a request for proposals.  

READ HIGHLIGHTS OF AMAZON's REQUEST  BELOW   See the entire RFP Here

"I sent a letter endorsing Rochester. Buffalo. Both," Schumer said.

Appearing roughly midway between the two in rural North Java Wednesday, Schumer touted the regional benefits of such a large, transformational project and said either city would benefit if the other was chosen.

"You know we had a big fight when GEICO wanted to come here . Between Rochester and Buffalo.  They located in the Eastern suburbs of Erie County but a large number of workers came from the Rochester area. So if we get a big employer in either city, the other city would benefit," Schumer said.

And while he is certainly a supporter of the Buffalo bid being prepared by county and state officials, even Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown can't deny the regional scope of the effort.

"This will literally transform any city, any region it goes into. This is one of those once in a lifetime opportunities," Brown said, adding that the city will join state and county officials in presenting a bid.

The Amazon requirements ask for a location somewhere in a region with a population of 1 million people, a "business friendly environment,"  and " Communities that think big and creatively when considering locations and real estate options."

Congressman Brian Higgins says Buffalo fits that bill.

"We have strengths that other communities clearly do not have. We have 20 colleges and universities, a highly-educated workforce. A highly-motivated workforce... We also have locational advantages that other cities do not have.  Our close proximity to Toronto, an international city with an international airport. An abundance of freshwater- the Niagara Power Project could provide cheap hydroelectricity for job creation for Amazon. So I wouldn't sell this community short," Higgins says.   

The Seattle Times reports that 118 cities nationwide have already submitted proposals for the headquarters, in advance of the Oct. 19 deadline set by the retailing giant. Hear more on the nationwide quest to land the economic development power play of the decade


IS IT ALL FOR NOTHING?

Amazon is becoming the toast of the country, and that may be exactly what they wanted by making their desire for an "HQ2" public. One national expert thinks the tech and retail giant already has its mind made up.

"I have a sneaking suspicion that in fact this is all nonsense," said Jill on Money hosy Jill Schlesinger. "I think they already know where they're going."

Where does she suspect Amazon may be headed?

"Austin, Texas," Schlesinger said. "They just bought Whole Foods. Whole foods has a huge campus out in Austin. The DC area, because I think they want to be around DC because there's going to be a ton of regulatory scrutiny on companies like Amazon. And then I think Boston is the other one."

BUT WOULD THEY SEND BACK CHICKEN WINGS?

(AP) Amazon has rejected the 21-foot  Saguaro  cactus that southern Arizona economic leaders planned to send as a gift to CEO Jeff Bezos, in a bid to attract the company's second headquarters.

Amazon says it is instead donating the cactus to a Tucson museum.

Sun Corridor Inc., an economic development group, said it was sending cactus last week in a publicity stunt, saying it symbolizes that Tucson has the room to grow with the online retailer. Tucson is one of many cities competing for Amazon's second headquarters, which the company says will result in up to 50,000 new jobs and a $5 billion investment.

Amazon said on Twitter that it couldn't accept gifts and would be donating the cactus to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum instead.

HERE'S WHAT AMAZON WANTS IN THEIR SECOND CITY
Related Audio: Hear "Jill on Money" with an analysis of the criteria from Amazon and how Buffalo measures up 


Excerpts From Amazon's Request for Proposals

In choosing the location for HQ2, Amazon has a preference for:

  • Metropolitan areas with more than one million people
  • A stable and business-friendly environment
  • Urban or suburban locations with the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent
  • Communities that think big and creatively when considering locations and real estate options

HQ2 could be, but does not have to be:

  •  An urban or downtown campus
  • A similar layout to Amazon’s Seattle campus
  • A development-prepped site. We want to encourage states/provinces and communities to think creatively for viable real estate options, while not negatively affecting our preferred timeline

Priority for Consideration (in no particular order): Amazon will consider the following site/building categories for the Project:

1. Existing buildings of at least 500,000+ sq. ft., meeting the core requirements described above and that are expandable or have additional options for developmentnearby.

2. A greenfield site of approximately 100 acres certified or pad ready, with utility infrastructure in place. 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.

3. Other infill, existing buildings, including opportunities for renovation/redevelopment and greenfield sites, meeting the proximity and logistics requirements of the Project. This can also be a combination of the above.

4. Please also consider the overall proximity of the buildings at full build-out as you are making recommendations.

Comments ()