Winning the bid to host Amazon's second headquarters could bring up to 50,000 well-paid jobs to a region, but there's also a downside to vying for Amazon's business. Devoting time and resources to the competition has meant that some cities are losing out on other opportunities, the Wall Street Journal reports.
For example, when Micron Technology, a semiconductor-maker, approached state officials in Virginia about a $1 billion expansion of Micron's site there, the state was so busy prepping the city's bid for Amazon's HQ2 that it couldn't make time for Micron, the company told WSJ. Micron is currently talking to officials in New York State to bring the project there instead.
Amazon began accepting proposals from cities looking to host its second headquarters last September. During the bidding process, cities and states spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on site-selection consultants, stunts and costly videos and graphics to win the bid. The public process also brought large tax incentives for Amazon. New Jersey and Newark offered $7 billion in tax breaks, and Maryland proposed $5 billion. The money and time spent on the proposals is the result of the public bidding process, which some experts say put too much pressure on cities to compete. Amazon will announce the location of H2Q by the end of the year.
Amazon received 283 applications for its new headquarters and announced 20 finalists in January. Though many cities will come out of the process without the coveted prize of hosting Amazon's HQ2, the company has said that cities that don't win would be considered for additional projects, including warehouses and data centers that would create thousands of additional jobs. Amazon declined to comment for the WSJ story.
Some cities say just entering the competition has already been beneficial. Barry Broome, the chief executive of The Greater Sacramento Economic Council, told WSJ that crafting its proposal, which included producing a virtual-reality tour of the city, generated a significant amount of publicity by itself. "We think it was worth it," Broome said.