The St Louis Contrarian

Providing Independent and Intelligent Insight on St. Louis Public Policy Issues

St. Louis and Amazon’s New Site

You all know that Amazon is now in the market for a second headquarters. St. Louis of course is putting a package together to lure Amazon here. This of course is astronomically more important than a sports team. I think St. Louis would actually be a good site with a central location, great universities and culture, low cost of living and so on. When reading the criteria, I don’t think we have a chance and should not waste resources on this endeavor. (The criteria do not include having an NFL team).

They do want things like a growing economy and a highly educated workforce, both things we lack. Anyway here are the criteria and judge for yourself. Written by Paul Dribin

Factbox: Amazon Lays Out Preferences for Second Headquarters Site


September 7, 2017

(Reuters) – Inc on Thursday dangled the prospect of as many as 50,000 jobs and billions of dollars in direct and indirect investment to communities vying to host its second North American headquarters.

The $5-billion project would be comparable to the giant internet retailer’s current Seattle headquarters, which spans 8.1 million square feet in 33 buildings and which generated $38 billion for that city’s economy from 2010 through 2016, the company said.

Amazon listed several key preferences for the new headquarters:

Metropolitan area with a population of at least 1 million.

There are 53 metropolitan areas in the United States and six in Canada with populations that meet that criteria, according to government census data.

* Cities and states, as reported by Reuters, that have indicated they are in talks with or are interested in opening talks with Amazon about the new headquarters’ location:

– Seattle, its current headquarters location

– Chicago, Illinois

– Dallas, Texas

– Houston, Texas

– Denver, Colorado metropolitan area

– St. Louis, Missouri

– Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

– Toronto, Ontario

– State of Michigan

– State of Kentucky

– State of Indiana

– State of Minnesota

– State of Rhode Island

A diverse population, “excellent” higher education institutions and a local government “willing to work with the company.”

A stable and business-friendly environment and tax structure, along with the potential to attract and retain “strong” technical workers.

– According to the non-partisan Tax Foundation, the 2017 State Business Tax Climate index ranks these ten states as the best for how well they structure their tax systems:

1) Wyoming

2) South Dakota

3) Alaska

4) Florida

5) Nevada

6) Montana

7) New Hampshire

8) Indiana

9) Utah

10) Oregon

The 10 worst in 2017:

41) Louisiana

42) Maryland

43) Connecticut

44) Rhode Island

45) Ohio

46) Minnesota

47) Vermont

48) California

49) New York

50) New Jersey

Amazon said the site can be urban or suburban as long as it is within 30 miles from a population center and within 45 minutes of an international airport with daily direct flights to Seattle, New York, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. It must also be no more than 2 miles from a major highway with direct access to mass transit systems. Existing buildings of at least 500,000 square feet and greenfield sites of about 100 acres will be considered.

The availability of incentives including site preparation, tax credits and exemptions, relocation and workforce grants, and fee reductions. “The initial cost and ongoing cost of doing business are critical decision drivers,” according to Amazon.

– Amazon’s sprawling operations in the United States are generally staffed with non-union workers. Unions, according to news reports over the years, have not made much progress in unionizing the company’s workers. In considering is headquarter location, states with “right to work” provisions in their laws could be a factor in the decision making process.

– According to the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, states with right to work provisions in their laws are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Optimal fiber connectivity and service.

(Reporting by Reuters Staff; Editing by Daniel Bases and Nick Zieminski)


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