Chicago delegation heads to Seattle for Amazon bid

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A Chicago delegation heads to Seattle on Tuesday to begin the process of trying to woo Amazon as the tech giant seeks a location for its second headquarters. (WLS)

A Chicago delegation heads to Seattle on Tuesday to begin the process of trying to woo Amazon as the tech giant seeks a location for its second headquarters.

Up for grabs is 50,000 jobs.

The 10-person delegation includes business leaders and staffers from both the offices of Gov. Bruce Rauner and Mayor Rahm Emanuel. They are expected to meet with high-level executives at Amazon. Bid are due by mid-October.

"We are developing a joint proposal, the Department of Commerce for Illinois, Intersect Illinois, World Business Chicago, the mayor's office, the governor's office are working hand-in-glove to come up with a single comprehensive proposal," said Rauner, who just returned from a trade mission to Japan and China aimed at bringing more businesses to Illinois.

The delegation will be visit Amazon's campus headquarters as part of a fact-finding visit to learn about Amazon culture and better understand what Amazon might be looking for in their second headquarters.

The delegation will include Andrea Zopp, Chicago deputy mayor and former Urban League President; Leslie Munger, Illinois deputy governor and former state comptroller; and Penny Pritzker, a billionaire and former U.S. Commerce Secretary.

Some possible Chicago locations that might fit Amazon's needs for size and accessibility include the former Finkl Steel plant along the Chicago River and also the Old Post Office over Congress Parkway.

However, Chicago might not be the only metropolitan area in Illinois preparing a bid.

St. Louis is also competing. Rauner said the state would also be assisting that city with their proposal as well.

"We have a major population center in Metro East, we have major strategic transportation advantages in Metro East in the St. Louis area," he said.

However, Rauner said that would be a back-seat bid to Chicago, which he described as a "homerun for us."

Another local city has an interest in Amazon - Gary, Ind.

The city of Gary took out space in the New York Times with a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, which touted the city's location, an international airport and a commuter rail line. The letter has the mayor's contact information and was signed "Gary, Indiana."

The city concedes the bid is far-fetched and compared it to putting a man on the moon.


Related Topics:
businessamazonchicago rivernew businessrahm emanuelBruce Raunerpost officeChicagoWest LoopCalumet Heights
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