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After Amazon announced late last year that it plans to build a second headquarters in an undetermined location, it received 238 bids from cities, states, and regions across North America. Each proposal detailed why that place should be chosen for Amazon’s new second home.
On Thursday, the company announced a shortlist of 20 finalist cities, including Denver, New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago.
Amazon says its new campus, called HQ2, will bring 50,000 new jobs to the city where it winds up being built. The e-commerce giant will invest $5 billion in the construction, making the offer one of the largest corporate-civic opportunities in recent American history.
Many cities have disclosed their plans to woo Amazon. Some are more extreme than others.
Here are a few of the most out-there bids.
Chicago, Illinois — a campus that would sit on a redeveloped site of a former hospital
Chicago developers Farpoint Development and Draper & Kramer recently unveiled renderings of its bid, dubbed the “Burnham Lakefront,” Curbed reports.
The plan, which will go ahead regardless of Amazon’s choice, features a redevelopment of the former Michael Reese Hospital site near the city’s South Side. The lakefront property has been vacant since the hospital was demolished in 2009.
Amazon’s mixed-use campus could be as large as 14 million square feet, depending on market demand and tenant needs, the developers wrote in their bid. The site would have office space in high-rise towers, housing that would span 144 acres, public plazas, landscaped bridges, and dedicated traffic lanes for autonomous vehicles.
Dallas, Texas — a development that would surround a proposed station for a $15 billion bullet train
- Texas Central Rail Co.
Developers from the firms Matthews Southwest and Texas Central Partners are pitching a transit-oriented development for Amazon’s HQ2 campus, according to the Dallas Business Journal. The headquarters would include a proposed station for a bullet train, which Dallas magazine reports is expected to cost $15 billion. If fully approved by the city, the 240-mile line would transport passengers from Houston to Dallas in 90 minutes.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has formally expressed support for the train plan, which is likely to happen with or without Amazon. Developers hope to start construction on the development by late 2018.
Dallas, Texas — the site of a former (nearly dead) shopping mall
- Dallas Midtown
Dallas News reports that the proposal calls for the construction of a 500,000-square-foot office building, which would be a part of a larger 430-acre district.
The building’s parking garage was demolished this summer. Now only a theater, a few art galleries, some pizza joints, and a smoothie shop remain.
Newark, New Jersey — $7 billion in tax incentives
In early October, Gov. Chris Christie and legislative leaders said they would offer Amazon tax breaks worth $7 billion over the next decade if the company decides to build there, according to Bloomberg.
The plan would expand a subsidy program, Grow NJ, and provide economic incentives for companies (like Amazon) that launch “transformative projects” (like HQ2).
The proposed bill would raise the cap on subsidies from $5,000 to $10,000 for every job Amazon creates. Christie said he expected the bill to be signed into law by mid-January.
California — $300 million to $1 billion in tax incentives
California’s governor’s office will offer $300 million to Amazon in tax breaks if it picks a city in the state, Reuters reports.
But a bill introduced in November in California’s state assembly could give the company even more – up to $1 billion in tax breaks over 10 years.
New York City — a bid that includes possible sites in three boroughs
In Midtown West, the city says there is over 26 million square feet of space – in a range of building types from office towers to “historic gems” – for Amazon. There is over 13 million square feet of space available in Long Island City, and 8.5 million square feet of potential space in the Financial District in Lower Manhattan.
Finally, there is over 15 million square feet available for HQ2 in the Brooklyn Tech Triangle, which includes DUMBO, the Brooklyn Navy Yards, and Downtown Brooklyn. The bid doesn’t include specific design plans for any of the proposed sites.
“The case for New York City is simple: we are the global capital of commerce, culture and innovation,” NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio wrote in a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, included with the proposal. “No city has a greater diversity of talent, of industries, and of collisions that fuel great ideas and companies.”
Philadelphia — three sites that would span a total of 28 million square feet
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Amazon said it was looking for existing buildings of at least 500,000 square feet and total site space of up to 8 million square feet.
Philadelphia would have that covered. Its officials are proposing three sites to Amazon that would collectively span an estimated 28 million square feet in the city, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
The unfinished developments – Schuylkill Yards, uCity Square, and Navy Yard – already include millions of square feet of offices, retail, transit lines, and residential spaces.