Seattle losing Amazon HQ2 no surprise to city leaders

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While over 200 cities, states and provinces responded to the $5 billion/50,000 job carrot dangled by Amazon's secondary headquarters proposal back in December, all but 20 got the stick Thursday - including Utah - when the company released its short list of finalists.

The Seattle-based retail colossus released a list of potential sites on Thursday that it had winnowed from 238 competing regions, including the Richmond area and Hampton Roads, which may have boosted their profiles for future economic investments and projects despite missing the cut for to compete for HQ2, as the massive project is known.

Former Republican Gov. Chris Christie signed legislation this month authorizing $5 billion in tax credits to lure Amazon, and the city is promising another $2 billion. It also listed Northern Virginia and Montgomery County in Maryland as potential sites.

The effort to bring the new headquarters to Canada was spearheaded by none other than Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who penned a letter to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos as the bids were flooding in.

Sandy Baruah, President of the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce also said that needs to change.

SCATTER CITY: If Amazon wants a headquarters close to downtown, Suffolk Downs may be out, leaving the company with a smorgasbord of different sites that would have to be cobbled together to make enough room for the 50,000 employees.

The stakes are high.

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"We are looking for a location with strong local and regional talent-particularly in software development and related fields-as well as a stable and business-friendly environment to continue hiring and innovating on behalf of our customers", says Amazon. The full proposals have not been made public. There are 112 acres of city-owned, fully-serviced and shovel-ready lands available at the junction of Highways 410 and 407, four miles from the airport. "It's really a breakthrough", he said. The company says it will name a victor sometime this year.

Chairman Mark Cohon said they will take the time to lay out more arguments as to why it should call Canada home.

"We see that all of the schools in the Commonwealth are increasing the graduation rates for people in high-tech positions and management of high-tech companies", Carlson said. High paying tech jobs can permanently transform a region and raise the political prospects of the leader who helped seal the deal. Two metro areas, NY and Washington, have more than one location that made the list, increasing competition there, he said.

"I've got to believe that we're still among the top of those on the list", said Southern Methodist University business expert Mike Davis.

I had my doubts from the outset about the bid simply because Hamilton didn't meet some of the minimum requirements laid out by Amazon, and if you don't check off those boxes early in the process, the chances of success are reduced significantly.

That kind of detail would likely have been needed from cities that made the short list, said Hanlon.

The initial bid focused on the features of the Toronto region and surrounding municipalities such as Guelph, Waterloo, Durham, Mississauga and York, he said.

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