Missouri Governor Proposes Putting Amazon HQ2 In St. Louis And Kansas City, Linking The Two With Hyperloop Line
As expected, St. Louis and Kansas City were the only two Missouri cities to submit proposals to Amazon in the Amazon HQ2 sweepstakes by Thursday’s deadline.
In a somewhat unexpected move, another proposal came out of Jefferson City, Missouri.
Amazon has not released the final number of proposals submitted, but many cities released details of their own plans. Submissions have included a 21-foot cactus, graffiti, lots of orange and more.
Amazon is looking to build a second company headquarters somewhere in North America. The headquarters, dubbed “HQ2,” would supplement the company’s current headquarters in Seattle, Washington. Amazon has said that it could invest up to $5 billion in building the project and employ up to 50,000 people in “high-paying jobs” at the new location.
The deadline to submit proposals to Amazon was Thursday, October 19, 2017. The company plans to select a site sometime in 2018, according to the Request For Proposal.
“Unified” St. Louis Bid Includes Sites On Both Sides Of Mississippi River
While details of the St. Louis proposal for Amazon HQ2 are being kept confidential, the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership did release an overview of the submission touting the teamwork across the region that went into the proposal.
The proposal team included St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger, St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern, Express Scripts Chairman George Paz, World Wide Technology Chairman & Founder David Steward and Washington University Chancellor Mark Wrighton.
The bid proposes Amazon uses two sites, one on the Missouri side of the Mississippi River in downtown St. Louis and the other on the Illinois side in St. Clair County. The sites would reportedly be connected by a bridge over the river.
The proposal submitted included cover letters from both Missouri Governor Greitens and Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. While the governors pledged to work with the company and respective state legislatures, specific incentives the states planned to offer were not made public.
Joe Buck is among the St. Louis natives who have urged Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to select St. Louis and touted the region’s selling points.
— Joe Buck (@Buck) October 10, 2017
Transforming The Heartland With Amazon And Hyperloop
A proposal spearheaded by Missouri Governor Eric Greitens proposes that Amazon locate its second headquarters in both St. Louis and Kansas City, linking the two sites with the unproven Hyperloop transportation system, while taking advantage of the “vibrant university community of Columbia, Missouri” in between.
The Missouri proposal, which challenges Amazon to “transform the Heartland,” includes the website MakeMOHQ2Home.com and the video below.
Hyperloop One CEO Rob Lloyd is featured in a video on the site touting Missouri’s potential. Hyperloop One, which will soon be known as Virgin Hyperloop One after an investment from Richard Branson’s company, is one of at least two companies currently working on the transportation system.
The hyperloop system would transport people and goods through tubes in pressurized capsules at speeds of up to 760 mph. Elon Musk first talked about the idea publicly back in 2014 and companies like Hyperloop One are currently in the process of making the system a reality.
Maryland recently gave Musk and The Boring Co. permission to build a 10.3- mile tunnel that will serve as the first part of a planned hyperloop system between New York and Washington, D.C. Musk has previously said that his proposed system would get passengers between the two cities in 29 minutes. It currently takes about 5 hours to make the 225-mile trip.
Hyperloop One CEO Lloyd told the Associated Press last month that a line linking Kansas City and St. Louis was one of the lines his company was seriously considering. With the line completed, passengers would be able to make the trip between the two cities in about 25 minutes.
The proposal, officially submitted by the Missouri Department of Economic Development, did not specifically talk about incentives the state would be willing to offer Amazon.
Kansas City Mayor Reviews Thousands Of Amazon Products As Part Of KC Pitch For Amazon
Kansas City definitely won the prize for being the only proposal from Missouri to include a gimmick. Kansas City mayor Sly James posted 108 5-star reviews of various products on the Amazon site while also purchasing 1,000 items. In each review, a plug for Kansas City is included.
Actually, Kansas City creative agency Barkley appears to have done much of the legwork for the publicity stunt. A story in ADWEEK credits the agency with coming up with the idea as well as writing the reviews. All of the reviews can be seen at KC5Stars.com
Details of the Kansas City proposal by the Kansas City Area Development Council were not released, but it has been reported that the proposal included sites both in Missouri and Kansas.
$7 Billion In Incentives And A 20-Foot-Tall Cactus
The Kansas City 5-star reviews gimmick was far from the only stunt from a city in the hunt for Amazon HQ2.
New York City turned the town “Amazon Orange” last night in an attempt to attract attention to their bid.
Tucson, Arizona sent a 21-foot-tall cactus to Amazon’s Seattle headquarters to promote its bid. Instead of planting the cactus in Seattle inside a giant sphere, the company donated it to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.
Stonecrest, Georgia offered Amazon 345 acres of land and a chance to rename the town.
Canadian cities are vying for the project as well.
Calgary, Alberta hung a giant banner in Seattle to promote its bid and also commissioned artists to write messages on Seattle sidewalks. The also told Amazon that Calgary would fight a bear for them.
Some cities took a more traditional approach with their offers. Incentive packages offered ranged from $60 million in Memphis to the $7 billion offered by New Jersey and Governor Chris Christie if the company moves to Newark.
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