Emanuel, Rauner optimistic about effort to lure Amazon to Chicago

Wednesday, September 20, 2017 05:32PM
Chicago is seeking to convince Amazon to build its second headquarters in the city.


CHICAGO - Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner were optimistic Wednesday about their efforts to lure Amazon's second headquarters to Chicago.

The assessment comes one day after a Chicago delegation, made up of state and local reps, visited Seattle to learn about what the company is looking for.

On Wednesday, the city began accepting proposals from developers for what sites the city might consider as it prepares to send a bid to amazon.

Site suggestions are due next Wednesday, Emanuel said, giving the city three weeks to get its bid in.

Amazon will be accepting bids from Oct. 17 - 19.

Emanuel said Chicago has everything that Amazon is looking for.

"They have a vision of the future, they have a vision of their company in the future and I want to make sure that all of Chicago lines up to that future," Emanuel said while touring a new workspace at Price Waterhouse Cooper called the Experience Center where employees work collaboratively on business solutions.

He added: "They're looking for an educated workforce, with the strengths of an educational system to support an educated workforce. A transportation system that's bar none, both aviation and public transportation, a cost of living and affordability and a tech economy," Emanuel said. "I think Chicago has all that and more."

Rauner agreed that Chicago is a competitor.

"I think our team came away feeling like we're well positioned, very well positioned and we are going to continue to be all in in terms of bringing every possible relationship and every possible resource we can to provide a high quality option for the decision makers at Amazon," Rauner said.

On Wednesday, he signed a bill giving advanced practice nurses expanded opportunities for what health care treatments they can offer.

Rauner admitted the state's economic health, including pension debt could be a concern for Amazon.

"We need to have balanced budgets, we need to keep our tax burden reasonable it's already very high, we need to reduce the cost or our bureaucracy, we need to reduce the regulatory restrictions on our businesses," Rauner said.

Chicago is not the only one planning to make a bid.

Also on Wednesday, the village of Oak Brook said it would be pitching the McDonald's Corporate campus, which the company will leave next year, as a location for Amazon to consider.

A state representative from Kankakee also is pushing for that city to be considered for Amazon's new headquarters.

Earlier this month, Amazon announced plans to build a second headquarters. The tech giant said it would consider sites in metropolitan areas of at least one million people with access to public transit, major highways and international airports. The company says it plans to spend more than $5 billion on a new campus.

The new headquarters would bring 50,000 new jobs over the next 10 to15 years, offering positions that would pay an average of more than $100,000 annually.
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