Dallas dodges list of Amazon HQ2 ‘biggest losers,’ while Toronto, Miami and LA get tagged


Sept. 7, 2017 - News about Amazon was shopping for a location to build a second headquarters sent local officials across the country scrambling to court the tech giant. In a blog post, Amazon said it plans to invest more than $5 billion to build and operate "Amazon HQ2" and that 50,000 employees would work there. The Dallas Midtown project, envisioned in this rendering, in one of many sites being pitched as a potential home for HQ2. Show Full Story

Sept 27, 2017 - Frisco Mayor Jeff Cheney and other city officials sites along the Dallas North Tollway by time it as all said and done. More than a dozen North Texas cities pitched over 30 DFW sites to Amazon. Here is a look at the Star in Frisco, corporate home of the Dallas Cowboys.

Sept. 28, 2017 - The executives at Downtown Dallas Inc. told the Dallas Business Journal that they were pulling together potential development site in the city's central business district that could appeal to Amazon. The same day Dallas-based Matthews Southwest, with support from Texas Central Partners, said it was putting together a pitch for Amazon HQ2 campus for the transit oriented development surrounding the proposed station for the bullet train, shown in this rendering. And Dallas Midtown Stakeholders and development partners submitted plans to Dallas Regional Chamber to bring Amazon to the 430-acre site slated for redevelopment in North Dallas. The 100 acre campus would be housed on the site of the aging Valley View Mall, which is in the process of being demolished.

Restaurateur and entrepreneur Phil Romano, one of the business partners behind the vision of Trinity Groves on the west site of downtown Dallas, has plugged the restaurant incubator-anchored entertainment destination at the base of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge into the list of possibilities for HQ2 in Dallas.

The proposed Amazon Urban Village could bring 8 millions square feet of real estate to Dallas, as presented.

Sept. 28, 2017 - Allen officials said they planned to pitch two big projects within the city limits. One of the sites in Houston-base Hines proposed 135-acre campus-anchored, mixed-use development called the Strand, at State Highway 121 and Alma Road in Allen. The other project is proposed by Dallas-based Howard Hughes Corp. (NYSE: HHC), a real estate investment firm that is a partner in the Cicle T Ranch corporate magnet in Westlake.

Sept. 28, 2017 - Plano city officials say they plan to pitch multiple development sites to Amazon. The

e-commerce giant's headquarters is expected to cost $5 billion to develop - roughly five times the investment made by Toyota North America in its 100-acre campus in Plano's Legacy West. "We plan to put our best foot forward,"Mayor Harry LaRosiliere told the Dallas Business Journal, with four to six sites for HQ2 consideration. Here is the conceptual rendering of the Collin Creek Mall site transforming into a mixed-use development with an exposed waterway. It's one of the sites proposed by Plano.

Oct. 4, 2017 - The city of Richardson, with the help of the University of Texas at Dallas, told the Dallas Business Journal that it is making a run for HQ2. The aim is to lure Amazon with its tech-savvy student base and past corporate partnership. The University of Texas at Dallas has a 119-acre shovel-ready site immediately north of the Richardson campus next to the President George Bush Turnpike, said UT Dallas President Richard "Dick" Benson.

Oct. 5, 2017 - Fort Worth announced plans to pitch a handful of potential development sites to the Dallas Regional Chamber. The chamber collected each North Texas city's bid to put into a larger, regional pitch. Fort Worth sites include downtown, the $6 billion Walsh development, which sits 12 minutes from Fort Worth's urban core, development sites in Ross Perot Jr.'s Alliance Texas, Panther Island adjacent to the Trinity River, and sites along the Chisholm Trail Parkway. Panther Island, shown in the rendering, will include an urban village on the waterfront north of downtown Fort Worth.

Oct. 5, 2017 - Arlington announced plans to propose multiple potential HQ2 sites to the Dallas Regional Chambers, according to Mayor Jeff Williams. With two stadiums - and a third on the way, Arlington has proven it can get big projects done quickly and efficiently, Williams told the Dallas Business Journal. Here is AT&T Stadium, where the Dallas Cowboys play.

Oct. 16, 2017 - As the deadline approached to submit applications and incentive packages to be considered for Amazon's second headquarters, Texas' senators penned an open letter to CEO Jeff Bezos. Senator John Cornyn, pictured, and Ted Cruz touted the state's economy, workforce and quality of life. The senators noted that Texas has skilled talent pool and prides itself on o income taxes and lower business taxes than most states.

Oct. 19, 2017 - Dallas-Fort Worth submitted its bid for Amazon's second headquarters along with a regional marketing video touting North Texas' attributes. The DFW region's submittal of a unified response to Amazon's request for proposals for the HQ2 fulfilled the company's request for a single response from large metro areas. North Texas bombarded Amazon with possibilities. More than 30 sites in over a dozen North Texas cities are believed to be part of the pitch.

Oct. 23, 2017 - Amazon said its call for second headquarters proposals received 238 bids from cities and regions in 54 states and provinces across North America. Pictured is Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

Nov. 4, 2017 - The Dallas Fort-Worth area topped a list of prospective sites for Amazon's new headquarters, according to a Wallstreet Journal analysis. The Journal pointed to North Texas big college population, large tech labor force, low cost of living and lack of a state income tax as reasons the region landed in the top shot. The analysis was base on six factors: tech labor force, fiscal health, cost of living, college population, culture fit and state tax rank.

Jan. 18, 2018 - Amazon announced that 20 cities made the first cut its search for a new North American headquarters, and the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area was on the list. "We're not surprised," said Dale Petroskey, president and CEO of the Dallas Regional Chamber. "We believe we have everything they're looking for in terms of workforce, infrastructure, business climate, all of these things". In the photo, Petroskey, foreground, and Mike Rosa with the regional chamber briefed reporters on next steps in the Amazon HQ2 selection process.

Late January 2018 - Dallas-Fort Worth ranked fifth in air service strength among the 20 contenders for HQ2, according to an analysis by aviation data provider OAG. That put the region behind New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Atlanta, in that order. DFW ranked just ahead of Denver, followed in order by Miami, Toronto, Washington D.C., Nashville, Boston and Philadelphia. Austin, the only other Texas city on Amazon's shortlist for the project, ranked 13th in air service in OAG's analysis followed by Raleigh/Durham, Pittsburg, Columbus and Indianapolis in last place. Here, an American Airlines 737-800 lands at DFW International Airport.

Feb. 1, 2018 - Activists organized as "No Gay? No Way!" launched a campaign urging Amazon.com to rule out putting HQ2 in cities in nine states, including Texas, that do not protect LGBT people from discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations. This mobile billboard rolled through the streets of Seattle around Amazon.com Inc's headquarters.

February 2018 - Opposition to tax breaks and other financial incentives for Amazon - a touchy topic throughout the search - escalated. The grassroots millennial group Generation Opportunity started running ads in opposition to metro areas giving Amazon incentives to lure the e-commerce giant's second headquarters. The digital ads were on social media platforms including Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, targeting mostly 18-to-38-year-olds. The Dallas Regional Chamber, which assembled North Texas' regional pitch hasn't release specifics on the incentives that cities locally have offered to Amazon, but has confirmed that an incentive package for each community was included in the regional response. State incentives are expected to be part of the package as well. Amazon has historically used incentives to help fund the company's growth at all levels, including fulfillment centers like the one pictured - a 1 million square-foot facility in Coppell.

Early March 2018 - A delegation from Seattle-based Amazon visited the state and met with leaders in both Dallas and Austin. "I'm very impressed with the professionalism and the quality of the organization that they've got looking at Dallas and other places," Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, pictured, said after the visit. Gov. Greg Abbott, not surprisingly, played it down the middle. "We believe both Austin and Dallas would be perfect fits for Amazon," Abbott said.

The Dallas-Fort Worth area may or may not ultimately win Amazon.com Inc.’s second headquarters, but at least North Texas has escaped a list of “biggest losers” for the highly coveted project.

Toronto, Los Angeles and Miami were tagged with that distinction in an Op-Edpublished Wednesday in The Daily Caller, a conservative news and opinion website based in Washington, D.C.

Twenty metro areas have made it to the second phase of the selection process for Seattle-based Amazon’s (Nasdaq: AMZN) second headquarters, dubbed HQ2.

The Daily Caller knocked Toronto for its lack of incentives and, well, just generally being in Canada.

The publication dinged Los Angeles for high taxes, onerous regulations and a housing crisis.

Miami made the biggest-loser list because it lacks a major research university focused on tech, and because it might be headed underwater.

“There’s little chance (Amazon CEO) Jeff Bezos, firmly in the climate change camp, is going to commit to low-lying Miami,” Keith Naughton, a public affairs consultant, writes in the Op-Ed.

In a related story, a new website and petition have been formed, called “Obviously Not D.C.,” that argue against planting HQ2 in Washington.

“In a city with a housing and homelessness crisis, where tens of thousands of longtime black residents have been pushed out over the last decade, our city leaders are clamoring to bring in up to 50,000 new, likely affluent residents, without any conversation about the impact on longtime residents,” the website says.

The Daily Caller also calls New York City and Chicago longshots for HQ2. Both are cities that “might be in the running, but shouldn’t,” the Op-Ed says.

New York is bashed for being expensive, congested and a political minefield for Amazon.

“Unlike pro-business cities like Atlanta and Dallas, or mid-tier cities where Amazon can dominate politics (Columbus, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh), Amazon is practically guaranteed to be stuck in a political morass and will find (New York City) much more expensive than it thinks,” the Op-Ed says.

Chicago, meanwhile, has the worst public finances in the United States and corrupt politics to boot, it says.

Earlier this year, Amazon announced 20 metro areas, including Dallas-Fort Worth, as finalists for the $5 billion campus, which is expected to bring 50,000 high-paying jobs over the next 10 to 15 years.

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