Atlanta has stiff competition as Amazon fields 238 proposals for HQ2

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Atlanta has stiff competition as Amazon fields 238 proposals for HQ2

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Al Seib
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. (Al Seib/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

Amazon wanted a bidding war, and its 50,000-job second headquarters project got quite the response.

The e-commerce giant said Monday the company received “238 proposals from cities and regions in 54 states, provinces, districts and territories across North America.” It appears proposals came from every state in the U.S., except Arkansas, Hawaii, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming. Puerto Rico also submitted a proposal, according to a map on Amazon’s website.

The state Department of Economic Development also released a promotional video showing Brittany Holtzclaw, a top state recruiter, leave the department’s offices at Georgia Tech with a box touting the state’s top business ranking. She boards a MARTA train and then a Delta Air Lines jet (one of 11 direct flights from Atlanta to Seattle, a Delta crew member helpfully says in the video). The video ends after she lands in Seattle and enters the company’s Day One tower.

On Thursday, Oct. 19 Georgia's Brittany Holtzclaw, a top state recruiter, hand-delivered hardbound copies to Amazon headquarters in Seattle of what insiders call a “formidable” package for “HQ2,” a 50,000-job, $5 billion bonanza with the potential to alter the economic landscape of the winning bidder.

All the while, words such as talent, connectivity and innovation flash on the screen.

“When everybody hears about Georgia’s proposal, you’re going to see that we left nothing on the table,” Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said at a city event Thursday.

Amazon unleashed an international sweepstakes last month with an online request for proposals for a second headquarters to be the equal of its Pacific Northwest base of operations — a campus totaling 8 million square feet. The company has said it plans to make a decision by next year.

Georgia’s proposal includes details for dozens of development sites around metro Atlanta. It boasts about the city’s technology talent. It touts Atlanta’s globally connected airport, the region’s transit network and plans to expand MARTA rail.

The state’s formal bid also isn’t shy about the bevy of incentives and infrastructure improvements Georgia and local officials can offer that total well more than $1 billion.

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