First State to make a play for new Amazon headquarters

Minnesota checks numerous boxes Amazon says it is looking for.

The company is looking for a location with strong local and regional talent, focused in the areas of software development and related fields.

Within hours of Amazon's RFP announcement, cities, states and provinces all over the continent let it be known that they're ready to reach for the big prize.

"The state overall makes a good case", said Spanos. "We are committed to continuing that legacy", she said.

"I'm very optimistic about Seattle and its future and I think if we continue to work with Amazon and other businesses to show them what a great place it is to live and work that they'll continue to want to be here", Durkan said.

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In 2013, Minnesota approved $585 million in public assistance, from both state and local sources, to support Mayo Clinic's planned $5.5 billion expansion in Rochester. The company already has a sorting facility set to open in Mobile later this year. Witness the $3 billion in incentives Foxconn was offered by Wisconsin to build a factory there. He declined to bash the incentives. It issued general statements about the benefits of their city but didn't say what specifically, if anything, they'd do to attract the retailer.

Matthew Yglesias, a writer for the website Vox, made an even more unconventional suggestion: "Seattle should make a pitch to be Amazon's 2nd headquarters".

Amazon's announcement has prompted some soul-searching about whether Seattle is anti-business.

Besides San Jose, several cities around the continent have expressed interest in bidding for the project, including Chicago, Nashville, Washington, Toronto and Vancouver. Because the "Amazon HQ2" is not meant to be a simple annex to the headquarters of Seattle but an equivalent according to Jeff Bezos.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson is lining up beside other Canadian suitors hoping to woo Amazon after the US online retail giant announced it's on the hunt for a location for its second North American headquarters. Despite Arizona's growing demographics and amenity offerings, its business-friendliness, competitive tax structure, low cost of doing business and great weather, Gammage says, decision makers in Seattle will not think Phoenix is "cool" for its knowledge-based workers as opposed to the warehouses Amazon now operates in the Valley. The idea of packing that many employees of a single company into the greater Seattle area, or really any large USA metro area, strains credulity.

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Greater MSP, a Minneapolis and St. Paul economic development booster, said it is already working with the state to provide a "unified response" to the Amazon opportunity. By 2022, the company is expected to occupy 12 million square feet in the city, up from 8 million now.

There's good reason for that speculation: According to data from Zillow, home values have gone up have up 83 percent and rents have increased by 47 percent since Amazon moved into their South Lake Union headquarters in 2010.

DE already houses two Amazon distribution centers - one in Middletown and the other in New Castle.

"As an innovation and research-intensive city, counting a bilingual and culturally diverse high-tech and telecommunications workforce of more than 77,000 leading professionals, Ottawa is well positioned to host this Amazon campus", Watson said in a statement.

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