Georgia officials want to rename a city AMAZON to entice tech giant to build its vaunted $5billion ‘HQ2
Officials from a recently incorporated city outside Atlanta want to shed some of their new municipality’s land and rename it Amazon, Georgia, in the hopes it will spur the e-commerce giant to locate a second headquarters there.
The Stonecrest City Council voted 4-2 on Monday to de-annex 345 acres of land and to ask the Georgia General Assembly to use it to form the city of Amazon, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported .
‘How could you not want your 21st century headquarters to be located in a city named Amazon?’ asked Stonecrest Mayor Jason Lary.
Amazon has said it will spend more than $5 billion to build a second headquarters, dubbed HQ2, in North America with as many as 50,000 jobs.
The Seattle-based company said it’s looking at metropolitan areas with populations of more than a million people, which have the potential to attract top technical talent.
Stonecrest, Georgia, a small suburb located just 20 miles east of Atlanta (seen in the above stock image), is offering to shed some of its land and re-name it Amazon in the hope it will convince the e-commerce giant to build its planned ‘HQ2’ there
Stonecrest officials plan to submit a bid for Amazon’s HQ2 by the company’s October 19 deadline. The company expects to make a decision next year.
Stonecrest is located 20 miles east of Atlanta, and is home to about 53,000 residents.
It incorporated as a city this year.
The largest e-commerce company said it intended to create ‘HQ2’, a headquarters that would be a ‘full equal’ to its Seattle office, Chief Executive Jeff Bezos said in a statement.
Amazon was likely to land its second headquarters in a cheaper city than Seattle and score subsidies.
The company promised up to 50,000 jobs averaging more than $100,000 in annual compensation over the next 10 to 15 years.
Cities and states immediately began saying they would bid.
Dallas, Houston, Toronto, St. Louis, Kentucky and Miami are a few that are committed to bid.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has made a case for his city in discussions with Bezos, a Chicago spokesman said.
Companies with two headquarters are rare and distance could challenge the management abilities of Bezos and other leaders, but some investors and analysts also saw the geographical diversification as a way to cut costs and risk.
It would also make it easier for the conglomerate to break up down the line if it so chooses.
The company is changing radically and it depends so heavily on disruptive thinking. Moving to a new city and finding a new talent pool is a good idea,’ said Antony Karabus, chief executive of HRC Retail Advisory.
Incentives from land to fee cuts to relocation packages will be a major part of the decision, Amazon said.
Local governments have gone to great lengths to secure jobs and investment.
Wisconsin’s legislature, for instance, recently voted to give Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn a $3-billion incentive package to build a $10-billion liquid crystal display factory in the state.
Amazon’s plan will also boost its political leverage at a time when it has been blamed for the decline of bricks-and-mortar retailers.
President Donald Trump has criticized Amazon as doing ‘great damage’, costing jobs in cities and states.
The Wisconsin Foxconn factory will be in the home district of Paul Ryan, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.
More than 50 cities have the 1-million metropolitan area population Amazon targets.
Likely contenders could include US Midwest states, where Amazon has many warehouses; Texas, which is the base of the Whole Foods Market grocery chain it acquired this year; and other business-friendly states.
Amazon has been awarded more than $1 billion in state and local subsidies since 2000, according to estimates by watchdog Good Jobs First.
Texas leads the way with the value of subsidies to Amazon, followed by Illinois, Kentucky, and Ohio, it said