SEATTLE – Amazon announced its 20 top cities for its second headquarters in North America. St. Louis did not make the cut.
The company plans to invest over $5 billion in construction and grow the headquarters to include as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs.
Amazon reviewed over 200 proposals from across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico for HQ2.
In the St. Louis proposal, more than $5 billion in incentives were offered between Missouri, Illinois, St. Louis, St. Louis County and St. Clair County. Additionally, their proposal said it would deliver the lowest overall cost to purchase land and facilities as well as the lowest long-term operating costs.
The 312-page proposal had not previously been released due to a non-disclosure agreement with Amazon during the application process.
The proposal offered a headquarters that spanned two states and offered riverfront locations on both sides of the Mississippi just north of the Arch as well as a location near the airport. They also proposed a sky tram over the Mississippi River to connect the two riverfront campuses that would be completed by 2019.
The MetroLink light rail system was featured heavily in the proposal including an Amazon Welcome Center integrated above a MetroLink station at Lambert Airport.
One statement in the proposal said the incentives package "cannot represent the very best we can do" because they were still early in the process and because Missouri and Illinois could not show favoritism between multiple proposals. Kansas City and Chicago both made proposals which could have affected the St. Louis proposal. Chicago was named one of the 20 finalists.
The proposal featured testimonials from prominent business people in the area who spoke to the speed with which the project could be completed, including Bill DeWitt III of the Cardinals and Susan Pollmann of the NGA and Dennis E. Lower of Cortex.
Statement from Steve Stenger
The St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, with the help of elected officials, as well as business and civic leaders from throughout the region, presented an innovative, thorough and thoughtful proposal to Amazon. Our submission resulted from a coordinated effort between St. Louis County, the city of St. Louis, St. Charles County and Illinois. This is a valuable template and we will use many aspects of the Amazon plan to attract business and commerce to our region in the future.
20 areas selected to move to the next phase
Los Angeles, CA
Montgomery County, MD
New York City, NY
Northern Virginia, VA
Amazon says it will work with each of the candidate locations to dive deeper into their proposals, request additional information as necessary, and evaluate the feasibility of a future partnership that can accommodate its hiring plans and benefits its employees and community.
Amazon plans to decide on where to put HQ2 in 2018.