Online retail giant Amazon released its list of finalists Thursday of where it could build its second headquarters, but neither the metro-east nor St. Louis made the cut.
The 20 cities being considered include Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Columbus, Ohio, Dallas, Denver, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, Montgomery County in Maryland, Nashville, Newark, New York City, Northern Virginia, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, Toronto and Washington D.C.
But California-based technology company Apple Inc. announced it’s looking for a location for their second headquarters, bringing with it 20,000 jobs. Economic development leaders in the St. Louis region were already looking into how they can go about the application process, said Sheila Sweeney, CEO of the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership.
“What we are happy about is we now have a blueprint for marketing St. Louis in a completely new way,” Sweeney said. “It really laid the foundation to be able to win one of those (headquarters).”
Sweeney said she and other leaders are “looking into what (Apple’s) process is, if there is one.”
“We will certainly be ready to be in the game when we find out if that’s a possibility,” Sweeney said.
Amazon’s list leaves Chicago, Columbus and Indianapolis as the only Midwestern finalists.
St. Clair County, Madison County and St. Louis threw their hats into the mix in a bid to attract the headquarters in fall 2017. The CEO of the economic development partnership said cooperation between county and city leaders on both sides of the river made it possible to “find a new way forward” in marketing to large tech companies.
According to a statement by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the headquarters, called HQ2, would employ up to 50,000 people. Edwardsville also vied to be home of the second headquarters.
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.
Amazon is headquartered in Seattle and Apple is headquartered in Cupertino, California.