Friday, February 15, 2019

Amazon Spurns New York ; Emanuel & Pritzker Publicly Sell "The 78" as an Alternatve

Shocking news yesterday as Amazon officially broke up with Long Island City on Valentines days.  What's even more interesting is that our officials are eagerly and openly pitching "The 78" as the solution (via Crains):
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Gov. J.B. Pritzker are moving quickly to try to take advantage of Amazon’s decision to drop plans to open a second headquarters in New York, asking the company to “take another look at Chicago.”
In a joint letter today addressed to “Dear Amazon,” Emanuel and Pritzker said whatever happened in the Big Apple, “We want to assure you that Chicago, our surrounding communities and the state of Illinois remain ready to welcome HQ2 to our city, and to ensure a smooth and successful transition and launch.”

The letter notes there is “new leadership the governor’s office” and asserts “new commitment to bipartisanship” supports economic development.

“You have seen firsthand that the Chicago area meets or exceeds your business needs,” the letter states, adding that since Amazon execs visited here last year, zoning and other approvals for its preferred site, the South Loop megaproject known as the 78, at Clark and Roosevelt, has proceeded and that groundbreaking is set “shortly after” final legislative approval in April.
Before you get to excited (or mad depending on your perspective), Amazon has said they have no intentions of re-opening the search (via Tribune):
Amazon said Thursday it will continue to build offices in Arlington, Va., and Nashville, Tenn. It also plans to continue growing its 17 tech hubs, one of which is in Chicago.
Since announcing plans to locate in New York City, the company has received backlash from some New York politicians, who were unhappy with the tax incentives Amazon was promised and the company’s stance on unions.
The company already employs more than 12,000 people in Illinois. They work at fulfillment centers, campus pick-up locations, the research and development tech hub, and other sites. Of those employees, about 300 work in the Chicago tech hub.

The company doesn’t know yet where the growth that was supposed to happen in New York City will move to, Amazon spokeswoman Jodi Smith said in an email Thursday.

“It will be organic,” she wrote.
Organic doesn't sound like a company looking to plop 25,000 jobs on a metro.  Additionally we imagine that Amazon doesn't want to go through such a controversial public spectacle like the one that unfolded in New York.  To be fair, they brought this on themselves, so don't go crying for the richest man on earth and his company that is incredibly valuable company.

But...there is a sliver of an opportunity here.  We'll see what happens.

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