By Mike “Mish” Shedlock
Tax breaks for Amazon are on the way as the company received 238 proposals cities and regions in the United States, Canada, and Mexico hoping to snare the company’s second headquarters.
Promise of Jobs
The online giant promises to bring 50,000 new jobs and spend more than $5 billion on construction to man the facility.
- Tax breaks and grants will be the deciding factor.
- The location must be near a metropolitan area with more than a million people to be able to attract top technical talent.
- The location must be within 45 minutes of an international airport.
- The location must have direct access to mass transit.
- The location must be able to expand to as large as 8 million square feet in the next decade.
Proposals and Gimmicks
- Detroit said it’s location near Canada made it unique.
- Missouri touted a corridor between Kansas City and St. Louis.
- Tucson sent a 21-foot tall cactus to the company’s current location in Seattle. (Who dreamed up that idea? Saguaro cactus don’t grow in that climate. Plus, it’s a protected species! – Ed.)
- New York lit up the Empire State Building with an Amazon smile.
Building costs in places like Washington D.C., New York City, and San Francisco are through the roof and land space is non-existent. One would have to be nuts to locate in Illinois or California but stranger things have happened.
Recode cites building costs of $595 dollars per square foot in D.C., $550 in Boston, and $486 in Austin.
Svenja Gudell, chief economist at real estate data firm Zillow, thinks Austin, Denver, and Chicago are the top contenders.
A check of their numbers shows Kansas City has low building costs and airport nearness. Salt Lake City also has low building costs and airport nearness. Columbus, Ohio is cheaper yet. Kansas City is nice central location as well. But will executives finds those areas attractive?
Arkansas, Hawaii, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming did not send proposals.
No one has mentioned specific tax break offers.
I suspect Amazon will mention a handful of final contenders to see who will sweeten the pot.
Copyright 2017 Southern Arizona News-Examiner