The Competition to Host Amazon's Second American Headquarters Is On

Sean Airhart Amazon has 33 buildings here with 8.1 million square feet and about 40,000 local employees

Amazon announced plans Thursday to invest some $5 billion in a second North American headquarters, in a fresh sign of the phenomenal growth of the diversified USA technology giant.

Earlier on Thursday, Amazon, the world's largest e-commerce company, announced a $5 billion expansion plan that would generate 50,000 new jobs.

Today the company announced that it is opening a search for a city in North America to make its second headquarters, envisioned as a "full equal" to Amazon's existing home in Seattle, Washington.

"Clearly, this second headquarters will be welcome wherever the company decides to locate it", he said.

The company said it's accepting proposals for the new office.

Pittsburgh said it plans to "compete" for the new site and has already scheduled strategy sessions and started planning.

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A spokesperson for the city of Chicago wouldn't comment on whether it will submit a proposal, but gave the following statement: "Chicago's unmatched workforce, world-class universities and unparalleled access to destinations throughout the world make it the ideal headquarters location for companies large and small". The company now employs more than 380,000 worldwide.

Incentives offered by local governments will play a key role when Amazon comes to make a decision.

Amazon's campus in the northwest USA state of Washington now employs more than 40,000 people scattered across 33 buildings and 750,000 square meters (8.1 million square feet) of office space, according to a company fact sheet.

The St. Louis region has land available that could accommodate Amazon's real estate needs, Lewis said, including immediately north of downtown, in north St. Louis County and in Madison County near Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. "We're excited to find a second home", he added. Amazon listed incentives among several "key preferences and decision drivers" in its announcement.

Amazon estimates its investments in Seattle from 2010 through 2016 resulted in an additional $38 billion to the city's economy - every dollar invested by Amazon in Seattle generated an additional $1.40 for the city's economy overall. Competitive cities should be attractive metropolitan areas with populations greater than one million and capable of supporting "a stable and business-friendly environment", CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement. "I think it would have to be, 'Is Amazon the right fit for Boston and is Boston the right fit for Amazon?'"

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