As the bidding war for Amazon’s planned second headquarters heats up, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to vote Tuesday to send a letter to founder and CEO Jeff Bezos declaring support for regional efforts to lure the retailing giant to the region.
According to Seattle-based Amazon’s request for proposals, the company plans to spend more than $5 billion on what it calls HQ2, which would provide 50,000 new high-paying jobs and support thousands of construction and other related positions.
A county staff report said that would provide a huge economic boost. By comparison, the region’s life sciences industry, a key economic sector, provides around 35,000 jobs, the report said.
The proposed letter to Bezos would not only communicate the board’s strong support for San Diego’s response to Amazon’s RFP, but a willingness to explore possible incentives.
The report noted that Amazon already has a large presence in San Diego after leasing more than 100,000 square feet of office space in University City.
Still, San Diego appears to have plenty of competition for HQ2, both serious and creative. According to CNN:
- Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner convened a committee of around 600 area business leaders to lobby Amazon, including United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz
- Officials with several Bay Area cities, including Oakland and San Francisco, are teaming up to offer a joint proposal
- New Jersey is working on legislation that would provide $5 billion in tax breaks
- Officials in Tucson sent Bezos a 21-foot Saguaro cactus, which was turned around and donated to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
- The City Council in Stonecrest, Georgia, near Atlanta, voted to de-annex 345 acres of land and call it the city of Amazon if the company moves in
- Birmingham has placed three giant Amazon delivery boxes around town
The local bid is being coordinated by the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp.
Responses are due by Oct. 21. Amazon expects to announce a winner next year.
—City News Service