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St. Clair County offered $700 million in tax incentives in failed bid for Amazon HQ2

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The Amazon U.S. fulfillment network consists of more than 50 fulfillment centers, over 20 sortation centers and more than 90,000 full-time employees. Have a look around.
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The Amazon U.S. fulfillment network consists of more than 50 fulfillment centers, over 20 sortation centers and more than 90,000 full-time employees. Have a look around.

The St. Louis region fell out of the race to attract online retail giant Amazon’s second headquarters, despite billions of dollars in tax incentives from St. Clair County and Illinois.

In the St. Louis region’s proposal, released Thursday, St. Clair County and the state of Illinois were listed as able to make $1.6 billion in incentives available for Amazon, based on the company bringing 50,000 jobs and developing 10 million square feet in buildings.

The state would have provided $927 million in incentives, while St. Clair County would have offered $700 million in incentives.

Those incentives include tax breaks, including job tax credits of $500 per eligible employee, remediation assistance and a property tax reduction of at least 50 percent for 20 years per building.

rivercampus
This rendering shows the Illinois side of the proposed St. Louis Amazon “River Campus” headquarters. The St. Louis region was not among the finalists in a nationwide search. Provided

The proposal included multiple sites, both in Missouri and Illinois. The main Illinois site, called the Lincoln site, would have comprised 100 acres near the East Riverfront MetroLink stop. The proposal maintained the property could be purchased for less than $8.7 million.

The city of East St. Louis agreed to form a new tax increment financing district along the waterfront, according to the proposal.

Amazon also would have received “personal” attention from St. Clair County leaders, the proposal said.

“In St. Clair County and East St. Louis, Ill., the leadership at the highest levels will be sure that any need Amazon has will receive personal attention and expedited approvals,” the proposal states.

Letters of support for the proposal came from St. Clair County Chairman Mark Kern, Gov. Bruce Rauner and East St. Louis Mayor Emeka Jackson-Hicks.

rivercampusrendering
This rendering shows the Illinois side of the proposed St. Louis Amazon “River Campus” headquarters. The St. Louis region was not among the finalists in a nationwide search. Provided

The 20 cities named as finalists by Amazon are: Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Boston; Chicago; Columbus, Ohio; Dallas; Denver; Indianapolis; Los Angeles; Miami; Montgomery County, Maryland; Nashville; Newark; New York City; Northern Virginia; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; Raleigh; Toronto and Washington D.C.

According to Amazon’s request for proposal, the company is looking for buildings of at least 500,000 square feet or sites with at least 100 acres of greenfield space and utilities in place, among other considerations.

St. Louis regional leaders said they will use the proposal as a blueprint for attracting other high-impact employers. California-based technology company Apple, Inc. recently began a search for a location for its second headquarters.

Sheila Sweeney, CEO of the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, said leaders are looking into how to submit their proposal to Apple.

“We will certainly be ready to be in the game when we find out if that’s a possibility,” Sweeney said.

Amazon is headquartered in Seattle. Apple is based in Cupertino, California.

Kelsey Landis: 618-239-2110, @kelseylandis

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