Amazon Narrows List of Cities for 2nd HQ to 20, Including Chicago

Also named to the narrowed list were New York, Pittsburgh, Austin, Atlanta, Miami and other locations

Chicago is one of 20 cities to make a narrowed list of potential locations for Amazon's second headquarters. 

Also named to the list were: Atlanta, Boston, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, Montgomery County in Maryland, Nashville, Newark, New York City, Northern Virginia, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, Toronto in Canada and Washington D.C.

"We are delighted to be among the competitors in the next stage of Amazon’s HQ2 search," Gov. Bruce Rauner said Thursday. "We are ready to show the company why we believe the Chicago area is their best option."

According to the press release of the 20 cities, Amazon said in the coming months, it will work with each city "to dive deeper into their proposals, request additional information, and evaluate the feasibility of a future partnership that can accommodate the company’s hiring plans as well as benefit its employees and the local community."

The company expects to make a decision this year. 

Amazon's search for a second headquarters city has triggered an unprecedented competition among governments around North America to attract a $5 billion project that promises to create 50,000 jobs. The retailing behemoth has made clear that tax breaks and grants will be a big factor in its decision. 

Chicago recruited "Star Trek" actor William Shatner to help narrate a video pitch in hopes of getting the attention of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, a devoted Trekkie.

Some state and local governments have shared details of the financial incentives they are dangling. 

Chicago said releasing such information "could give an advantage to another applicant." 

Amazon said in its request for proposals in September that "certain aspects" of the project and details about the company "are confidential, proprietary and constitute trade secrets."

Ten sites in the Chicago area, including two in the suburbs, were listed in Illinois' bid.

The sites were broken up into three categories: City Core, labeled as Chicago's central business district; Innovative Urban Districts, described as "growth" areas located north, west and south of downtown; and Suburban Corporate Campuses, one in Schaumburg and one in Oak Brook.

"The combination of these prime locations with the country’s most educated population, diversified economy and connected transportation system make it clear that Chicago is the ideal city for Amazon’s second headquarters," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement at the time.

Emanuel and Rauner tout each site as aligning with Amazon's criteria for its new headquarter's future home and, at the same time, offering an opportunity for the company to make each its own. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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