Mayor Lenny Curry Putting Together Jacksonville Amazon HQ2 Proposal

Oct 9, 2017

The online retail giant Amazon is planning to open a second North American headquarters and Mayor Lenny Curry wants it to be in Jacksonville.

In an emailed statement Curry said, “I strongly believe Jacksonville has all the attributes that make for a great place to do business — including a strong labor force, a low cost of doing business, and a great quality of life.”

Amazon recently opened two fulfillment centers in Jacksonville and has at least one sortation center planned.

“Over the past several years, Amazon has had a growing presence in Jacksonville, bringing a record number of jobs to our city with the establishment of state-of-the art centers and stations,” Curry said. “My administration is keenly focused on economic growth and would like to see Amazon’s presence grow.”

Amazon’s current headquarters campus is located in Seattle, the second one that Jacksonville will bid on is being called “HQ2.”

Amazon wrote on its website it expected to invest $5 billion in construction and grow the headquarters to include as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs, which the request for proposal says is an average of $100,000 per employee.

“It will be a full equal to our current campus in Seattle. In addition to Amazon’s direct hiring and investment, construction and ongoing operation of Amazon HQ2 is expected to create tens of thousands of additional jobs and tens of billions of dollars in additional investment in the surrounding community,” Amazon’s website states.

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.

The RFP says Amazon has a preference for metropolitan areas with more than a million people, a business-friendly environment and locations with potential to attract and keep strong technical talent.

According to the city’s website Jacksonville’s metropolitan population at about 1.6 million people.

The RPF also states HQ2 could be a development-prepped site and a similar layout to the Seattle campus which is 33 buildings and 8.1 million square feet.

Several cities including Dallas, Chicago, Philadelphia and Toronto have mayors also saying they’re submitting proposals.

“My team and I are committed to doing everything we can to bring jobs and economic opportunities to Jacksonville; therefore, we are in the process of putting together a proposal to submit for this opportunity,” Curry said,

The deadline for cities to submit a proposal  in Oct. 19. Amazon expects to pick a location in 2018.

Lindsey Kilbride can be reached at lkilbride@wjct.org, 904-358-6359 or on Twitter at@lindskilbride