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How cities made bizarre proposals to win bid for Amazon’s second headquarters


Since Amazon announced it would open another headquarters, it has received 238 proposals from cities and regions in the US, Canada and Mexico inviting the e-commerce marketplace.

While the world’s largest online retailer plans to invest more than $5 billion and create up to 50,000 jobs for “Amazon HQ2”, it will decide to accept the proposal on the basis of tax breaks and grants.

Besides, Amazon has also stipulated that it is seeking to be near a metropolitan area with more than a million people; be able to attract top technical talent; be within 45 minutes of an international airport; have direct access to mass transit; and be able to expand that headquarters to as much as 8 million square feet in the next decade.

The most interesting part of the bidding was the kind of proposals Amazon received from 43 US states, as well as Washington, DC and Puerto Rico, three Mexican states and six Canadian provinces.

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio lit up key landmarks around the city like the Empire State Building, billboards, and Wi-Fi charging stations in Amazon’s signature orange colour.

Tucson, a city in Arizona, parcelled a 21-foot saguaro cactus to Amazon’s main Seattle headquarters via a truck. Amazon refused to accept the gift.

The mayor of Kansas city, a city in Missouri, tried to lure Amazon by reviewing its products. He wrote 1,000 reviews about Amazon products, giving them all five-star ratings. His reviews had slick one-liners like, “I live in beautiful Kansas City where the average home price is just $122K, so I know luxe living doesn’t have to cost a ton.”

The canadian city of Ottawa cheered for Amazon during intermission for a hockey game between the Vancouver Canucks and the Ottawa Senators. A gauge showed up on screen, with Calgary at the bottom if the audience made the least noise and Ottawa on top.

At Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, a local restaurant Primanti Bros. proposed to offer free sandwiches to every Amazon employee who ends up working there. Each Pitts-Burger and Cheese sandwich goes for $7.39 normally, so if each of the 50,000 new employees got a sandwich, that would run for a total of $350,000.

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