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More than 12 North Texas cities, 30 sites hit local deadline for Amazon HQ2 consideration


The 135-acre proposed development in Allen could be one of the sites to sway Amazon to come to North Texas

It could anchor the proposed bullet train station in downtown Dallas or go into one of Big D’s most iconic skyscapers. It could be the centerpiece of a big development envisioned on the north side of the Trinity River in Fort Worth. It could go into a proposed project called The Strand in Allen. Or into any of six proposed development sites in a 10-mile stretch of the Dallas North Tollway in Frisco. Show Full Story

Those cities along with Plano, McKinney, Denton and others are among the 12 to 14 who hit Friday’s deadline for North Texas cities to submit their individual bids for Amazon’s huge HQ2 project to the chambers of commerce in Dallas and Fort Worth.

Given that most cities submit multiple sites — Dallas and Frisco, for instance, submitted at least a half dozen sites apiece — that number almost certainly tops 30 and could be approaching 50 or more.

That's just in North Texas. More than 50 cities across North America are vying to become home of Amazon's new headquarters.

Beginning next week, the Dallas Regional Chamber and the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce will begin compiling the pitches they receive into a combined, regional pitch and send it to Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZ) before the Oct. 19 deadline set by the online retail giant.

HQ2, the name of the second headquarters for the Seattle-based company, is expected create more than 50,000 high-paying jobs and bring $5 billion in direct investment to the city that wins the prize.

Mike Rosa, senior vice president of economic development for the Dallas Regional Chamber, declined to comment on the number of cities or proposed sites, but city officials, developers and other sources have been trotting out multiple sites daily for the past week.

Some developers and city officials have said the Dallas and Fort Worth chambers, as gatekeepers, would narrow the options to about 10 front-runners before presenting the North Texas packet to Amazon. Rosa, however, said all sites submitted to the chamber will be included in the packet the chamber sends to Amazon.

“We expect to receive qualified submittals from many regional cities, all of which will be included in our response to Amazon’s RFP,” Rosa said.

Over the next two weeks the DRC will reviewing submittals from the cities and prepare a proposal that showcases the diversity of options in the Dallas Region that meet the criteria outlined in Amazon’s RFP. The chamber also will provide regional data and information in an attempt to tell a compelling and comprehensive story about North Texas.

"We’re working very closely with the Fort Worth Chamber, and with our other regional economic development partners, to ensure that we put the best possible foot forward on behalf of the entire region," Rosa said. "In a unique region like ours, we are going to have a lot of great options with different character and advantages because we are such an interesting composite."

The chamber does not plan to allow representatives of individual cities, developers or others to see the regional packet before it is submitted to Amazon, Rosa said.

Some of the more intriguing proposals include:

• Texas Bullet Train has a proposal to develop Amazon’s HQ2 in the Cedars neighborhood of Dallas, near the Dallas station site. The site is being pitched as creating a "super economy" between Dallas and Houston formed by the 90-minute connection.

• Allen has two potential sites, including one called The Strand at State Highway 121 and Alma Road. The 135-acre project is designed to create a corporate campus environment with walkable amenities and a trail system.

• Plano will submit up to six development sites, including its historic downtown, according to Mayor Harry LaRosiliere. If Plano were to be successful in its Amazon bid, it would come on the heels of Toyota North America building its own massive continental headquarters in the city.

• Dallas' tallest skyscraper, Bank of America Plaza, is one of the buildings being discussed as an Amazon option, along with development parcels at Field and Ross streets, south of Dallas City Hall, on the east side of the Central Business District by Interstate 345, and Exposition Park east of downtown Dallas near Deep Ellum. Another Dallas option would be Victory Park, and one more is the Midtown site at what is now the aging Valley View Mall, which is in the process of being demolished.

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