St. Clair County wants to be considered for Amazon’s second headquarters as does St. Louis and Chicago, which have both put in bids to house the new base.
According to a statement by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the headquarters, called HQ2, would employ up to 50,000 people.
St. Clair County officials said they have plans to submit a proposal, but would not say what site they would recommend to Amazon.
“I can confirm I submitted the Amazon RFP to our communities and commercial realtors this morning, as is our routine practice,” Terry Beach, the economic development director for St. Clair County, said Thursday. “I have spoken with several of our cities this morning regarding their potential sites. But independent of that I can also confirm the county will be submitting a site to Amazon.”
A “Request for Proposal” statement was released by Amazon, instructing interested cities to send information “on behalf of your metropolitan statistical area (MSA), state/province, county, city and the relevant localities therein.” The applications are due Oct. 19 and the company will announce the location in 2018.
Amazon’s request for proposal includes sites that are within 30 miles of a population center, within 45 minutes of an international airport, with access to mass transit, and within one or two miles of a major highway.
The company is looking for buildings of at least 500,000 square feet, or sites with at least 100 acres of greenfield space with utilities in place, among other considerations according to the RFP.
When St. Clair County vied for the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency headquarters, which ultimately went to St. Louis, the county’s proposal included 182 acres of free land near to MidAmerica Airport and Scott Air Force Base.
MidAmerica and Scott are near to Interstate 64, which is set to have its Rieder Road exit open soon.
Amazon has warehouses and distributions centers in Illinois, and will employ up to 8,000 people in Illinois by the end of next year, Crain’s reported.
“We expect HQ2 to be a full equal to our Seattle headquarters,” Bezos said in a statement Thursday. “Amazon HQ2 will bring billions of dollars in up-front and ongoing investments, and tens of thousands of high-paying jobs. We’re excited to find a second home.”
Cities across the country, including Chicago and St. Louis, immediately began submitting bids for the headquarters.
“We’re all abuzz this morning about Amazon’s announcement,” St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Krewson told the newspaper the city is “putting together a team right now to make a very competitive” proposal.
Chicago, however, is also in the fray.
According to Crain’s Chicago Business, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has spoken to the Amazon CEO about the project being housed in Chicago.