Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos has made it known that Amazon plans to build a massive second headquarters in North America that will equal its current headquarters in Seattle and are ready to spend US$5bn over 15-17 years on the project. In line with this, Amazon has asked interested cities to submit proposals for housing the new headquarters.

He said, Amazon are willing to look beyond the US for the new Headquarters location, so Canadian cities are eligible to bid.

“Amazon HQ2 will bring billions of dollars in upfront and ongoing investments, and tens of thousands of high-paying jobs. We’re excited to find a second home.”

In Seattle, the company has over eight(8) million sq ft of office space and accounts for nearly 20% of the city’s total office space, to equal the Seattle base, Amazon’s new headquarters would ultimately employ 50,000 people in eight(8) million sq ft of office space at an average salary of over US$100,000.

In choosing the location for HQ2, Amazon has expressed a preference for:

  • Metropolitan areas with more than one million people
  • A stable, business friendly environment
  • Urban or suburban locations with the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent
  • An area with an international airport and mass transit
  • Communities that think big and creatively when considering locations and real estate options

These preferences will significantly narrow the list of eligible cities realistically able to bid for such a project.

Experts say Amazon’s public request for submissions is a way to find the sweetest deal in terms of local incentives and tax exemptions.

The scale of the projects and the interest it has sparked is comparable to cities bidding for the Olympics.

Reports have it that officials from Toronto, Texas, Maryland and Chicago are among those that have planned to try to win Amazon’s new venture.

Whichever city eventually wins the bid, there will certainly be plenty of opportunities for construction firms.

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