Amazon’s invitation for bids from cities across North America to host HQ2, its second headquarters, has attracted numerous cities. As the cities scramble to meet the deadline and attract the $5 billion investment and 50,000 high value jobs, leaders of those cities are laying out their pitches in the hope of attracting the online retail giant.
In its Request for Proposals, the company provided specifics that will be of interest in determining which cities will be considered for HQ2. To be shortlisted the location will have an environment that is business-friendly, have a robust technical workforce with over one million residents and be liberal in thinking big and creatively on real estate options and locations.
The following cities’ leaders have taken the initiative to woo Amazon in ways they know best. Take a look:
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed says his city has a great relationship with the state resulting in huge economic developments in the entire metropolitan region. The city prides itself with the world’s busiest and most efficient passenger airport, the ninth largest economy in the country and home to leading universities.
Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said that her city has a talented and diverse workforce with more than a 1,000 people relocating to the city every month.
Being the nation’s capital and home to the International Monetary Fund and World Bank puts the city in good stead. Two international airports ensure efficient transit times and the diversity and vibrancy of residents and small businesses echo the creative minds of the city.
Pittsburgh’s mayor William Peduto says that his city has a renaissance spirit that has enabled it reinvent when faced with adversity.
He says his city is inhabited by residents who are motivated and are passionate. He adds that the city has a mix of sectors in robotics, education, engineering, technology, energy, and life sciences with more than thirty universities in close proximity. He lays emphasis on Pittsburgh’s clean energy initiatives and its governance using the four Ps representing performance, people, planet and place.
The city also has an Inclusive Innovation Incubator, the first co-working incubator in the nation and a tech training scholarship.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney says that his city is the second largest on the East Coast with the fastest growing millennial population among the country’s 10 largest cities and has huge benefits of urban living including culture, gastronomy and arts. With reference to talent the mayor indicated that the city is home to more than 100 colleges and universities which churn out 90,000 graduates annually. It also has grown the number of software application developers by 66 percent over the period 2012 to 2015.
Philly also has reliable transit system and a walkable design that has resulted in 40 percent of city residents walking to work.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock expressed his excitement about the prospect of Amazon landing in his city and said that they have started discussions with all actors to consider how to position the city for this opportunity.
Toronto’s mayor John Tory says that his city has residents drawn from various parts of the world with varied cultures and cuisine. He touted his city’s technological edge noting that the city was ranked third among cities with the largest tech sector in North America and is host to Vector Institute which is home to the godfather of artificial intelligence – Geoffrey Hinton. Tory added that due to the Fast-track-visa for technology talent in Canada policy, his city’s pool of tech minds can be sourced from around the world.
Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane says her city is buoyed by a top-rated public school system and low cost of living. She added that the city has a highly educated workforce, a varied economy and a booming entrepreneurial character.