US cities seeking to bid for Amazon’s second headquarters will need to submit their proposals by the end of Thursday.
Amazon plans to invest $5bn (£3.8bn) and create 50,000 new jobs at the new headquarters, which will be a “full equal” to its Seattle base.
The investment will also create tens of thousands of other jobs in construction and the surrounding community.
More than 100 cities have expressed an interest in hosting Amazon’s new headquarters.
The cities include: Boston; Miami; Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth and El Paso in Texas; Chicago; Cleveland and Cincinnati in Ohio; Oklahoma City; Salt Lake City; Camden and Newark in New Jersey; Pittsburgh; Kansas City; Phoenix and Tucson in Arizona; Nashville and Memphis in Tennessee; and Detroit and Grand Rapids in Michigan.
Amazon announced its search for a location for its second headquarters on 7 September.
The online retail giant said it was looking for:
- metropolitan areas with more than one million people
- a stable and business-friendly environment
- close proximity to an international airport and major roads
- access to mass transit
- 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
Amazon’s Seattle headquarters currently houses more than 40,000 employees in 33 buildings.
The online retail giant estimates that it invested $38bn into Seattle’s economy between 2010 to 2016, and believes its presence has led to a rise in the number of Fortune 500 companies deciding to move their research and development centres to the city.
While the new Amazon base presents an attractive opportunity for many cities and regions, the company is likely to expect billions of dollars in incentives and tax benefits in exchange.
Most of the cities are keeping their bids a secret, but according to Missouri local newspaper the St Louis Post-Dispatch, New Jersey is offering almost $7bn in tax breaks in order to sweeten the deal.
In many regions, metropolitan areas are clubbing together to make a single proposal – per Amazon’s request – such as in New Jersey, where Camden and Newark are working together.
Camden is considered to be one of the the country’s poorest and most dangerous areas, even though it is less than 100 miles away from New York City.
Other cities are putting on publicity stunts to draw attention to their proposals – for example, Tucson in Arizona sent Amazon a huge 21ft-tall cactus plant, while the Mayor of Kansas City purchased 1,000 items from the online retailer and left product reviews extolling the virtues of the city.