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October 20, 2017

Brunswick Landing, Scarborough make pitches to be Amazon's HQ2

Courtesy / Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority
Courtesy / Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority
Brunswick Landing has been proposed by Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority as a site for Amazon's second headquarters.

At least two Maine locations have joined an intense national competition to become Seattle-based Amazon's second headquarters.

The Associated Press reported that Scarborough planned to submit by Thursday's deadline a proposal involving Scarborough Downs and adjacent land while the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority submitted on Wednesday a proposal involving Brunswick Landing.

The AP reported that both entries checked off most of Amazon's requirements, but fail to meet the checklist item of being located in a metropolitan area with more than 1 million people.

Scarborough's Town Council Chairman Shawn Babine told the Bangor Daily News that the community took the stance that it had nothing to lose and much to gain by submitting a proposal. "I don't know if we're really going to be a competitor, but it's nice to at least try," he told the BDN.

Amazon's pledge: $5B investment

With Amazon pledging to bring a $5 billion investment and 50,000 jobs to the host community of its second headquarters, it's no surprise that scores of cities and states submitted proposals by Thursday's deadline, according to a report in USA Today.

USA Today's list of major contenders offers an interesting summary of some of the enticements offered by prospective bidders. Here's a sampling:

  • Boston: Emphasizing outstanding local talent, transit and real estate in a bid running in parallel to separate proposals by several other Massachusetts municipalities.
  • New York City: Hoping that the city's global appeal and talent overcome its steep cost of living and real estate.
  • Newark: Banking on the state's offer of $7 billion in tax credits, as well as proximity to New York.
  • San Francisco-Oakland: Betting that the Bay Area's legendary tech talent and a regionally coordinated bid will prove enticing despite the high cost of living.

Other New England bidders

Mainebiz sister publications in Worcester, Mass., and Hartford, Conn., reported Amazon's RFP sparked a number of serious proposals from communities within their coverage areas.

Worcester Business Journal reported:

  • City of Leominster is offering more than 400 acres of public and private land and a tax breaks worth up to $405 million to lure Amazon to the city of 40,000 that's just north of Worcester and west of Boston. There are multiple sites in the city's proposal, including two city-owned sites and several other privately-owned sites totaling about 457 acres.
  • A coalition of five MetroWest communities led by Marlborough, a city of 38,000 with close proximity to Interstate 495, U.S. Route 20 and Massachusetts Route 85, offered 6.6 million square feet of space in their 73-page proposal that include company testimonials from GE Life Sciences and Walker Realty (which is developing a 500,000-square-foot commercial space), both of which located to Marlborough due to its accessibility and business-friendly attitude.
  • Worcester, a city in central Massachusetts with a population of 180,000, is offering 98 acres off of U.S. Route 20 and is prepared to offer up to $500 million in real estate tax savings and other incentives to secure the company's second headquarters.

WBJ reported Friday that Massachusett revealed 26 potential locations were submitted in its bid, including sites in Marlborough, Leominster and Gardner.

Hartford Business Journal reported Thursday that Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and mayors from the Hartford and Stamford regions announced they've completed an application that highlights the significant presence Amazon already has in Connecticut with existing facilities in Wallingford and Windsor and plans announced this summer to create a fulfillment center in North Haven.

The cities of East Hartford and Hartford also teamed up in a separate bid to land Amazon's second headquarters. Greater Hartford's competitive bid for Amazon's second headquarters touts its value as an affordable, talent-filled transportation hub that boasts both a sustainability plan and nearby international airport — two of the online retail giant's key requirements, HBJ reported.

Forbes ranks top 5 contenders

Forbes magazine cited an analysis completed by two economists that weighed six factors — business environment, human capital, cost, quality of life, transportation, and geography — to arrive at what it believes might be the top 5 cities offering the the best fit for Amazon's HQ2.

The magazine provides brief summaries explaining why Atlanta, Austin, Toronto, Pittsburgh and Boston might have the edge in the competition.

Amazon has said it plans to make its final decision next year.

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