Mayor Promises United Effort to Draw Amazon HQ to Chicago

The effort to land Amazon’s second headquarters in Chicago won’t just be a push by the city, according to Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

In a media availability Thursday, Emanuel said that the push will involve the collective efforts of the city of Chicago, Cook County, and the state of Illinois.

“It will be one voice, with all hands on deck, and with all the creativity being used toward that effort,” he said. “Everybody’s going to be pushing in the same direction.”

Numerous cities are vying for the coveted headquarters, which could potentially create up to 50,000 jobs and will be similar in size to the company’s current headquarters in Seattle.

In Chicago, numerous sites have been floated as potential areas where the new development could take place.  The old post office, the Finkl steel plant, and the Michael Reese Hospital are all potential sites for the campus. Even the Thompson Center, which is on a list of properties to potentially be sold by Governor Bruce Rauner, could house the project.

“If you’re very interested in a vertical area, that’s possible, or if you’re interested in a horizontal area, that’s possible,” Emanuel said. “All of these are within the boundaries of a central business district.”

Amazon has said that the second headquarters must have airport access, strong schools, a talented workforce, and public transportation access.

Austin, Denver, and Atlanta are viewed as Chicago’s toughest competition to land the potentially lucrative project, but the mayor has been impressed with the outpouring of support that the project has already generated.

“I’m incredibly heartened by the enthusiasm with which every aspect of this city, from our academic institutions to our corporate community, to our residents, have all been willing to help,” he said.

The city’s bid for the Amazon headquarters is due by Oct. 19, with the decision by the company set to be made next year. Construction on the project would begin in 2019. 

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