The clock is ticking toward Oct. 19 and a $5 billion prize. That’s the deadline to compete for Amazon’s HQ2 and 50,000 jobs, which would be a great fit for the metro-east and specifically for the land we pushed for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency next to Scott Air Force Base and MidAmerica Airport.
Amazon wants a population of at least 1 million and within 30 miles of a major population center. We’re that close and the St. Louis region has about 3 million.
They want to be within 45 minutes of an international airport. MidAmerica is 40 minutes from Lambert, plus with MidAmerica we’ve got an underused facility with capacity to handle lots of private jet traffic as well as cargo, drone delivery staging or just about anything Amazon wanted.
There’s lots of land. There’s an interstate highway with a spanking new interchange. There’s MetroLink mass transit coming right up to the area.
Good schools, good real estate values, safe communities — in general a great quality of life with room for 50,000 families making $100K plus.
But best of all we’re right in the middle of the country, which is perfect for a company in the business of shipping. We’ve long been a crossroads with highway, rail, barge, air — all sorts of intermodel cargo can be handled right here.
The Illinois side of the St. Louis region suffers from being ignored by its Missouri counterparts unless we can do something for them. Amazon’s HQ2 presents an opportunity to leverage our advantage of being close to their positives with a little distance from their negatives.
Here’s hoping St. Clair County leaders push hard to show Amazon why we all like living here: Big city amenities, small town feel.