Cities from Bellevue to Spokane to Vancouver say they are working on proposals to attract the online retailer’s second headquarters, even though corporate location consultants think Washington state faces long odds.
As Amazon scours the country for a second home, its first would like a word.
Washington cities from Bellevue to Spokane to Vancouver say they are working on proposals to attract the online retailer’s second headquarters, a multidecade, $5 billion expansion that may lead to a corporate campus of 50,000 workers.
Three weeks before Amazon’s deadline for interested bidders to submit their paperwork, those proposals are still taking shape.
Whether Amazon would seriously consider any of them remains to be seen.
Amazon’s HQ & HQ2
Amazon’s public request for proposals doesn’t detail why the company decided to open up a search for an HQ2 rather than continue to expand closer to its Seattle headquarters.
But outside observers have interpreted Amazon’s unusual public request as evidence that the company believes it needs to expand beyond the borders of Seattle, and, in all likelihood, Washington state. Amazon today is the largest employer in Seattle, with about 41,000 employees, up from about 5,000 in 2010.
“I think they’re looking for a different state to hedge their bets,” said Jim Renzas, a longtime corporate-relocation consultant with RSH Group.
Washington state is undeterred.
The Bellevue City Council asked city officials to evaluate Amazon’s proposal. Snohomish and Pierce counties’ officials say they will make bids for Everett, Tacoma and other cities. Spokane is interested. Vancouver is said to be evaluating a bid with Portland.
Gov. Jay Inslee said in an interview that Amazon policy chief and former White House spokesman Jay Carney had told him the company would at least consider Washington bids. “They’re telling us that they will take a look,” he said.