Ten sites in the Chicago area, including two in the suburbs, were listed in Illinois' bid, submitted this week, for Amazon's second headquarters.
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.
“Our state possesses unmatched business, education, technology, logistics, distribution, and academic research assets,” Gov. Bruce Rauner said.
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.
"The proposed sites would allow Amazon to be at the very center of a vibrant downtown core, or in an innovative urban district in one of Chicago’s neighborhoods, or in a campus-like environment in our suburbs," the mayor's office said in a statement.
A map released by Emanuel's office shows the location of each site, and a description of each notes standout offerings. City and state leaders aren't letting too much out of the bag, though.
"To ensure the competitiveness of Chicago’s bid, no additional details will be made available at this time."
--The Downtown Gateway District: "A collection of existing move-in ready buildings, major renovation and new development opportunities at a major gateway to Chicago's business district. This district includes significant space in the Willis Tower, the landmark art deco Old Post Office and new innovative over-site development at Union Station. 18 million sq. ft. of office is available over five existing buildings and seven development sites. A major development site at Union Station, and three new A+ office towers, are the centerpiece."
--City Center Campus: "Located in the center of the City, the future campus core is fully integrated into existing infrastructure and a multimodal transportation network with direct access to all downtown CTA rail and bus lines (including Blue Line access to O’Hare International Airport and Orange Line access to Midway International Airport on-site), designated bikes lanes, pedestrian paths, and a pedway (an underground walkway system). Commuter rail lines with connections to the surrounding suburban destinations (Union, Ogilvie and Millennium Stations) are less than one-half mile away."
--Lincoln Yards: "Comprised of over 70 riverfront acres between Bucktown and Lincoln Park, two of Chicago’s most iconic neighborhoods. It is a site of scale that offers robust, existing and multimodal transit connectivity, fiber rich infrastructure, a reasonable cost of living, vibrant neighborhood adjacency and immediate development opportunities with future expansion options.
--The River District: "A new neighborhood in Chicago’s city center, anchored by 37 acres of continuous riverfront land. Located at the confluence of Chicago’s most dynamic office, residential and entertainment districts, The River District is proximate to five separate CTA train stations, the Union Station/Ogilvie downtown commuter train hubs, the interstate highway system, and a dense network of major bus and bike routes. Given its unique locational attributes, the site represents an opportunity to create a new neighborhood that is pedestrian, bike, and transit friendly, while also convenient to regional commuters and international travelers.
--Fulton Market: "Once a meat-packing district, it is now a rich mix of office, workspace, restaurants, night-life, hotels and housing intermingled with industry, makers and artists. The District keeps its working grit while being a major draw for start-ups, and multiple recent corporate headquarters relocations. It is now home to Dyson, Glassdoor, Google, Uber, McDonald’s and WeWork – attracting the brightest minds in business and technology to a rapidly maturing business district."
--The Illinois Medical District: "Well-served by transit, just west of downtown, and hosts three colleges, four medical centers and numerous public/private technology enterprises. The district is walking distance to authentic Chicago neighborhood experiences like Little Italy and Greektown, and minutes away from the city's business and cultural center."
--The 78: "The largest undeveloped parcel of land in downtown Chicago, this 62-acre site represents one of the most ambitious and transformative development projects in Chicago’s history with unparalleled access to Chicago’s riverfront entertainment and recreation. It is also the site where the University of Illinois System envisions its Discovery Partners Institute, a collaboration of research universities, businesses and public-sector partners to spur growth in the Illinois economy."
--Burnham Lakefront: "Extending from McCormick place to 31st Street Beach and Marina, covers over half a mile of Lake Michigan frontage. Over 12 million sq. ft. of mixed-use development anchors the community with multiple development opportunities. Multiple rail stations provide convenient transit and direct freeway access from three major highways make for short travel time to the rest of the city and international airports. Existing infrastructure allows for direct and secure fiber connectivity, with unparalleled data capacity utilizing renewable energy and a district micro-grid."
--Schaumburg site: "Served as the Global Headquarters for Motorola for over 50 years. Motorola Solutions’ 1,600 employees and Zurich American Insurance’s 3,000 employees offer a strong foundation for the site just 17 minutes west of O’Hare. The 265 acres would be transformed into an urban, walkable neighborhood with Amazon as the anchor. Development will include high-rise housing, restaurants, entertainment, a hotel, and connected open space with trails."
--Oak Brook site: "Served as McDonald’s headquarters for more than 40 years. The site is reached by its own private entrance and includes four existing buildings: an international headquarters building, a Prairie-style headquarters office building, a training center with its own laboratory and kitchen area and a Hyatt managed hotel. Two picturesque lakes complete the serene natural environment on campus."