Factbox: Amazon's second headquarters project attracts 238 bids

Factbox: Amazon's second headquarters project attracts 238 bids

JOHN GRESS

Regions and cities in 43 U.S. states from Maine to Alaska, as well as Washington, D.C., submitted bids by the Oct. 19 deadline, Amazon said. The states that did not bid were Arkansas, Hawaii, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming.

Canadian bids came from the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec. Mexican bids emanated from the states of Chihuahua, Hidalgo and Queretaro.

Other bidders included Puerto Rico, which is struggling to recover from Hurricane Maria and is in the process of restructuring its sagging finances in court.

Details of the bids, including tax breaks and other incentives being offered to entice the internet retailer, were scarce as some bidders cited competitive reasons or nondisclosure policies.

As part of its headquarters announcement on Sept. 7, Amazon said it was limiting its search to metropolitan areas of at least 1 million people and was looking for a wide range of incentives, including tax credits.

The following are details from some of the bidders:

-- New Jersey is offering a potential $7 billion in local and state tax credits if the company picks Newark and meets hiring commitments.

-- Chicago assembled a committee of political and business leaders to work on its pitch and on Friday released several potential sites including a massive, but vacant building that once housed the city's main U.S. Post Office.

-- California could offer incentives ranging from $300 million under current law to as much as $1 billion under proposed legislation. The city of Irvine said its "one-click HQ2 solution" is fully financed thanks to the Irvine Company. In a letter to Amazon, Donald Bren, who chairs the real estate development company, said Amazon "will not be required to invest capital for land acquisition, buildings, or entitlements" for the $5 billion project. (http://www.cityofirvine.org/news-media/news-article/amazon-hq2-bid)

-- Connecticut downplayed its deepening financial problems and Hartford's potential municipal bankruptcy to push the Stamford and Hartford areas as ideal sites. (https://ctisprime.com/)

-- The Canadian cities of Toronto, Ottawa-Gatineau, Edmonton, Calgary, Halifax, Sault Ste. Marie, Windsor (with Detroit), Hamilton, Montreal and Vancouver submitted bids, according to Reuters reporting and local media reports.

-- New York Governor Andrew Cuomo offered four options: the New York City, Buffalo, Syracuse and Albany areas.

-- Bids for the Texas cities of Austin, which was ranked as the top candidate for the project by Moody's Analytics, and Dallas were made through their chambers of commerce. (https://www.economy.com/dismal/analysis/commentary/298321/Where-Amazons-...) (http://bit.ly/2xTIDe8)

-- Washington, D.C. submitted "a competitive package of incentives," according to Chanda Washington, spokeswoman for the city's planning and economic development office. (https://www.obviouslydc.com/)

-- Missouri is pitching the St. Louis and Kansas City regions. The state proposed a high-speed transportation system between the two cities. (http://www.makemohq2home.com/ )

-- Detroit's bid was spearheaded by Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert, who released a video showcasing the Motor City. (https://youtu.be/DO4J_PC1b5M)

-- The Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation said a single bid was submitted for Colorado with eight urban and suburban sites.

"Colorado does not have any up-front discretionary incentives, nor do we believe that makes fiscally responsible policy. We have not gone back to the legislature to ask for any special closing fund of any type," said Sam Bailey, vice president of economic development at Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation.

-- New Hampshire began its official bid by saying it has "all the benefits of Boston without all the headaches."

-- Pennsylvania touted the state's location as being "one day's drive from 40 percent of the U.S. population and 60 percent of Canada's population." (https://www.pa.gov/guides/amazon-in-pa/)

(Reporting by Karen Pierog and Chris Kenning in Chicago, Ethan Lou in Calgary, Nichola Saminather in Toronto, Daina Beth Solomon in Mexico City, Hilary Russ and Stephanie Kelly in New York; Editing by Daniel Bases and Matthew Lewis)

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