Arlington sends proposal to try to lure Amazon HQ2 to North Texas
The bid was sent to the Dallas Regional Chamber for submission to the corporate giant
With Amazon’s announcement last month of plans to open a second headquarters (HQ2) somewhere in North America, dozens of cities and urban areas have entered a frenzied bidding competition to house the technology giant’s new center of operations.
Several bids came from across the Dallas-Fort Worth area, including one from Arlington, City Marketing Communications Manager Jay Warren disclosed.
With Arlington being centrally located in the heart of the Metroplex, Warren indicated the city would be an ideal location for a second headquarters for Amazon, the largest Internet-based retailer in the world by total sales and market capitalization.
“Arlington is in the middle of everything, with major highways and interstates intersecting our community and a major airport eight minutes from us,” Warren said. “This makes Arlington strategically located for any major relocation and/or expansion.”
Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams stopped short when asked where within the city limits they might be looking to host the building, however.
“We’re in a major competition with a lot of cities and regions across the country, so we’re not ready to disclose our location,” Williams said. “But we are excited about the possibilities, however.”
Officials from Amazon said the new facility will cost at least $5 billion to build and operate and will employ as many as 50,000 workers over the next 10 years.
Many of the locales were encouraged to submit regionalized bids, and the North Texas area was one such section that fell into that category.
Warren said submissions from each interested North Texas community were given to the Dallas Regional Chamber, which will then submit the proposals to Amazon’s main headquarters in Seattle.
“The North Texas area, and the DFW region specifically, is a great place to live, work and play,” Williams said. “We should have an excellent opportunity to bring Amazon to this area.”
Each interested city and region was given an Oct. 19 deadline to submit bids to Amazon. The company specified a list of preferences, including suburban or urban areas with populations of more than 1 million, and places that will entice technical aptitude.
A stable and business-friendly environment was also listed as an important inclination in the decision-making process.
"We're energized by the response from cities across North America who have expressed interest in hosting Amazon HQ2,” Amazon spokesman Adam Sedo said in a recent interview in CNN Tech. “We invited cities to think big and we are starting to see their creativity."
While it was suggested that the HQ2 could be in an urban or downtown environment with a campus similar to Amazon’s Seattle campus, it was not a prerequisite.
However, it was disclosed that Amazon HQ2 will be a complete headquarters for Amazon, not a satellite office.
“We expect HQ2 to be a full equal to our Seattle headquarters,” Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said in the company’s press release announcing the plans. “Amazon HQ2 will bring billions of dollars in up-front and ongoing investments, and tens of thousands of high-paying jobs. We’re excited to find a second home.”
The Seattle campus features a series of massive constructed bubbles, called the Amazon Spheres, that serve as a biosphere project for nature conservation. The spheres are based on the concept of renowned architect Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome.
With the potential to lure many major companies to the city in efforts to bolster economic development, Warren said the Arlington City Council created an “Invest In Our Economy” initiative more than four years ago.
Making it a major priority, the initiative also included retaining existing businesses and companies.
“Recently we have celebrated several major relocations and expansions to Arlington, including Summit Racing, General Motors Assembly Plant, DR Horton, Texas Live!, Live! by Loews Hotel, and the Arlington Automotive Logistics Center,” Warren said.
“Adding Amazon HQ2 would add tens of thousands of employees and is certainly a reason any community in the nation would be interested in securing its facility.”
Correction: Amazon's new headquarters is projected to cost $5 billion