The Triangle region sent off its bid Tuesday to become the site of the mega-corporation Amazon's second headquarters, potentially bringing fifty thousand highly paid workers and $5 billion in investments to North Carolina, a Research Triangle Regional Partnership executive said.
Aided by the regional body, consisting of ten counties and Research Triangle Park, the area sent off information in response to the request for proposals, or RFP, that Amazon made public September 7.
A task force cochaired by Raleigh-Durham International Airport Authority chairman and Durham mayoral candidate Farad Ali and Citrix vice president of project management Nate Spilker worked with local and state government economic-development officials to produce the bid.
"We had the Raleigh Chamber, the Durham Chamber calling, and we were getting this outpouring of interest," Ryan Combs, executive director of the Research Triangle Regional Partnership, told the INDY Tuesday. "We said, 'We've got all these great leaders, all these great universities here; we need to get them all involved.'" The RTRP describes itself as “an association of area economic development agencies dedicated to keeping the Research Triangle Region economically strong by collectively marketing the region’s competitive advantages and providing support to and facilitating collaboration among its member institutions and a wide range of partners.” (John M. Kane, CEO of Raleigh-based Kane Realty, is board chairman of RTRP.)
Seattle-based Amazon's seven-page RFP sets out in spare terms the potential benefits of attracting what the document calls The Project.
"The Project is a second corporate headquarters (HQ2), at which Amazon will hire as many as fifty thousand (50,000) new full-time employees with an average annual total compensation exceeding one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) over the next ten to fifteen years, following commencement of operations," the RFP reads. "The Project is expected to have over $5 billion in capital expenditures …"
The company expressed its preference for a metropolitan region of more than a million people, a region that's friendly to business, "urban or suburban" areas that could attract high-level tech talent, and a community that thinks big and creatively.
This region could meet those requirements, Combs said.
Amazon would also like to move to a region with mass transit—a preference the Triangle could build into, Combs said. (The New York Times’s Upshot blog believes this could be a deal-killer.)
“If they choose to come to North Carolina, it would be a fifteen- to seventeen-year build,” Combs said.
Amazon didn't ask for any economic incentives in its initial RFP, so none were included. Should the Triangle make it into the coveted second round of prospects, talk of incentives would begin.
Dozens of cities from across the United States are preparing bids, with some hoping to get Amazon to agree to guarantees of local hiring, paying fair shares of taxes, and other parameters, according to an article in Fortune.