Amazon’s announcement of plans to build a second headquarters in North America has city leaders throughout the continent expressing interest in putting together a competitive bid.
The company’s new headquarters would amount to more than $5 billion in spending and house as many as 50,000 employees.
Almost immediately after Amazon’s announcement, regional leaders including St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger announced they were interested in putting together a proposal to lure the company to the area.
Regional economic development leaders and the mayor of Edwardsville joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh to talk about the value of having the company in the area and the process going forward to submit a bid.
“The magnitude of it is almost hard to grasp right now but we will put together a package that is very aggressive, innovative and [we will] really be responsive to Amazon,” said Sheila Sweeney, CEO of the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership.
The community of Edwardsville knows well the impact of having Amazon jobs in the area. Two years ago, the company was interested in building a fulfillment center in the area that would employ about 600 people.
That and more became a reality. The company built two fulfillment centers in Edwardsville that collectively employ about 2,000 people with the possible addition of about 600 seasonal jobs.
“They’re a company that delivers,” said Edwardsville Mayor Hal Patton, without a sense of irony.
“We have 29 different warehouses in our warehouse district that includes Procter & Gamble, Hershey and World Wide Technology. So there were about 5,000 employees there before Amazon came on board,” Patton said.
The city of Edwardsville provided seven years of property tax abatement, infrastructure improvements and other incentives to lure Amazon.
It’s no doubt that financial incentives will be part of St. Louis’ bid for the company’s new headquarters.
“It is a transformational opportunity. It is at least five to 10 times the impact that the NGA has had,” said Otis Williams, executive director of the St. Louis Development Corporation. “The whole concept of more jobs in this region – no matter where it lands – it will be great for this region with the number of jobs that are proposed to come to this area.”
To listen to more of the discussion about what St. Louis has to offer and how the region is going about the process of submitting a competitive bid, listen to the audio below.
St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary Edwards, Alex Heuer and Kelly Moffitt give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.