The organization leading the charge for St. Louis’ bid for Amazon’s second headquarters is still mum on details after revealing last week that St. Clair County would be included in the region’s final pitch.
The St. Louis Economic Development Council confirmed that part of the headquarters would be on the St. Clair County riverfront, but the exact site location and building plans were still under wraps Tuesday, with only two days to go until the plans are due.
Meanwhile, Chicago announced Monday with Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner that it has submitted a plan, although it contained few details.
“To ensure the competitiveness of Chicago’s bid, no additional details will be made available at this time,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office said.
Amazon’s quest for a second home, called HQ2, has allowed some states to focus entirely on themselves, but because the company requested a maximum of only one bid per metropolitan statistical area, leaders in Missouri and Illinois have had to work together to devise a plan for the St. Louis region.
Recently, several heavy hitters have endorsed the area, including Missouri Sens. Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt, who supported picking St. Louis based on its colleges and transportation.
National sports announcer Joe Buck, a St. Louis native, also issued an endorsement on Twitter.
“I call St. Louis my home,” he said in a video posted Oct. 10. “I can’t think of a better place than St. Louis.”
“(St. Louis) is actually one of the fastest-growing communities of tech and bio-science start-ups,” Buck stated. He also celebrated the city’s pace of life. “What I love about it is — it’s just easy. Life is easy in St. Louis.”
“This can be your town,” he said, “and, my God, we would love to have you.”
Buck’s comments are on the tamer, more professional end of the spectrum of public comments in the Amazon craze. Others, ranging from the benign to the outlandish, are being tracked by the Ringer, an online magazine, which introduced the Thirst Tracker to document the phenomenon.
In Georgia, for example, R.K. Sehgal, the ex-commissioner of industry, trade, and tourism there, said about trying to make his state more appealing, “You have to put lust in their hearts.”
In Pennsylvania, a column from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette callously picked on a variety of cities’ flaws, both perceived and extraordinary, including “Philadelphia, with its East Coast weather and swaths of abject poverty; Houston, now under water; St. Louis, battered by racial strife; Chicago, with its sky-high homicide rate; or Detroit, with a labor pool nowhere near as deep and educated as Western Pennsylvania’s.”
Arizona, for its part, was comparatively chaste in its appeal, although it flirted with changing its name to “Amazona,” said Chris Camacho, the CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council.