Amazon is outgrowing its Seattle headquarters and has officially begun hunting for a second home. According to AL.com Birmingham Mayor William Bell wants to bring the new headquarters to the Magic City, which could potentially bring 50,000 jobs to the area.
The online retail giant said on its website Thursday morning it plans to invest more than $5 billion to build and operate the new headquarters, which it is calling “Amazon HQ2,” and that up to 50,000 employees would work there.
“We expect HQ2 to be a full equal to our Seattle headquarters,” Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive, said in a statement. “Amazon HQ2 will bring billions of dollars in upfront and ongoing investments, and tens of thousands of high-paying jobs. We’re excited to find a second home.”
The company said HQ2 “could be, but does not have to be”:
- “An urban or downtown campus.”
- “A similar layout to Amazon’s Seattle campus.”
- “A development-prepped site. We want to encourage states and communities to think creatively for viable real estate options, while not negatively affecting our preferred timeline.”
In addition to Amazon’s direct hiring and investment, construction and ongoing operation of Amazon HQ2 is expected to create tens of thousands of additional jobs and tens of billions of dollars in additional investment in the surrounding community.
Amazon estimates its investments in its Seattle headquarters operations resulted in an additional $38 billion to the city’s economy, from 2010 through 2016.
Upon hearing the news, leaders of more than 20 cities in the U.S. and Canada immediately announced plans to bid on the headquarters, including New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles as well as smaller cities like Greensboro, NC and San Antonio, Texas, according to news reports.
Hopeful cities have a little more than a month to submit a proposal, and the company said it will make a final decision next year. Incentives from land to fee cuts to relocation packages will be among other major factors Amazon takes into account when making its decision the company said.
An Amazon facility in Birmingham would be the second for the Yellowhammer State. The company already has a sorting facility set to open in Mobile later this year.