From Hartford to St. Louis, job-hungry cities line up to convince Amazon they’re the best spot for second HQ


The Spheres at Amazon’s Seattle campus. (GeekWire Photo / Taylor Soper)

Amazon’s shocking announcement that it is looking to build a $5 billion second North American headquarters campus is only a few hours old, but cities are already lining up to pursue the online retail giant.

RELATED: Six cities Amazon should consider for its second headquarters

Chicago Business reports that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has spoken to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos about the matter. GeekWire tabbed Chicago as a logical place for Amazon’s next HQ, and as Chicago Business reports, the company already has a sizable presence there. Amazon is in the middle of building eight warehouses in Illinois, and it recently recently doubled the size of its downtown Chicago office, which already employs 200 people.

Pittsburgh, another city we identified as a possible landing place for the new HQ, is getting involved in the bidding. In a tweet, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto posted a link to Amazon’s announcement, with the simple commentary “on it.”

The city of St. Louis appears ready to throw its hat into the ring. St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson said at an economic development forum in St. Louis this morning that the city is “putting together a team right now to make a very competitive” proposal. That team appears to include county officials as well.

In an Amazon pun-heavy tweet, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said his city wants in on the action.

Nashville will make a proposal as well, according to Mayor Megan Barry.

It looks like Hartford will craft a plan to woo Amazon as well. Luke Bronin, Hartford mayor, encouraged the area to work together to land Amazon.

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum said he will do “whatever it takes” to land Amazon.

Bynum told the Tulsa World that the city plans to make a proposal.

“We recognize the competitive pool we are wading into here, but Tulsa’s history is that of a city that punches above its weight,” Bynum said. “Amazon is transforming the world, and Tulsa is positioned as the best place in the country for them to do so. We will submit a proposal to Amazon which makes that clear.”

When complete, Amazon expects the new campus to be a “full equal” to the company’s existing operations in its longtime home of Seattle, accommodating up to 50,000 high-paying jobs.

In its announcement of the search for a new campus, Amazon said it is looking at metropolitan areas with populations above 1 million, with urban and suburban locations that will draw top talent, “a stable and business-friendly environment,” and “communities that think big and creatively when considering locations and real estate options.”

Amazon’s request for proposals gives a deadline of Oct. 17, with a site selection and announcement slated for 2018. The ideal site, according to Amazon’s RFP, is less than 30 miles from a major population center, 45 minutes from a major airport, near several major roads and has immediate access to mass transit. Initially, Amazon is looking for at least 500,000 square feet of office space for the first phase in 2019, and could eventually take as much as 8 million square feet.