'Iconic' location pitched for Amazon HQ

The 630 foot Gateway Arch is silhouetted along with the city skyline in St. Louis on October 28, 2015. Fifty years ago on this date the last section of the Gateway Arch was put into place.
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An "iconic" location and a united front. That's what economic development leaders say the St. Louis region will present to Amazon, Inc. as a possible home for the company's second headquarters.

"An iconic site on both sides of America's greatest river is the big idea we need and we believe what Amazon wants to see," says Sheila Sweeney, CEO of the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership who is leading the region's effort to win over the online retail giant.

Sources say the proposal to Amazon will focus on a unified site on both sides of the Mississippi River using land on the city's north riverfront and a "mirror image" parcel on the Illinois side.

Several large cities across the country are bidding for Amazon's business - said to be a $5 billion investment bringing at least 50,000 jobs.

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The people filling those jobs would need to travel, say those close to the project. Which means the ability to easily add service to the underused St. Louis Lambert International Airport could be one reason St. Louis has a real shot to land Amazon.

The St. Louis Business Journal has identified six local companies in a variety disciplines that are helping with the bid, says publisher Patricia Miller.

"One of the first people to step up was Bob Clark of Clayco," says Miller. Clark's design/build company does construction work for Amazon and some think that could help St. Louis make a better bid.

Sources close to the proposal also confirm more county governments are getting behind this downtown proposal. Joining the city, St. Louis County, and St. Clair County are Madison and St. Charles counties.

There was some concern in St. Charles County that sites there wouldn't be fully considered. But those close to the proposal say when the final package is delivered to Amazon it will included alternative sites in other parts of the region like St. Charles County.

And if Amazon's footprint is as big as is expected it's possible it will need multiple sites.

The proposal is due in less than two weeks. Amazon will make its decision sometime in 2018.