- Sep 22, 2015
- Reaction score
- Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Possibility of hosting Amazon North American headquarters has Alberta mayors excited
Amazon announced Thursday that it is hunting for a site for a new headquarters in North America, in addition to its sprawling Seattle hub.
Amazon says that it will spend more than $5 billion US to build another headquarters in North America to house as many as 50,000 employees. The technology company plans to stay in its current Seattle headquarters and the new space will be a full equal of its current home, said Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.
Toronto Mayor John Tory has already jumped on board, leading the charge to convince Amazon that it should call the city its second home.
Could Edmonton be next?
Edmonton Economic Development said it’s aware of Amazon’s request for proposals (RFP) and will take a closer look.
“Canadian cities will certainly be scrambling, all of the big ones, to understand this opportunity,” Mayor Don Iveson said.
“In our case, we’ll rally everyone from the airport authority to the local and regional economic development entities to the downtown business association to make a case for why Amazon should come and take one of the half empty or empty buildings in our downtown that are on sale right now, right in the heart of the innovation corridor that runs from NAIT to the U of A and has some of the brightest machine-learning people.”
“Amazon’s all about machine learning and customization and automation and anticipation. So, if they want to be close to Google DeepMind, and Machine Intelligence Institute which is one of the best in the world then maybe Edmonton would be a good place for them to choose.
“We’re looking at it and I’ve been in touch with Edmonton Economic Development already and things are moving,” the mayor said.
Amazon's HQ2 opportunity a 'tasty morsel,' says Edmonton mayor
Edmonton could make a "great case" as the home of a second headquarters for e-commerce giant Amazon, Mayor Don Iveson said Thursday.
"The Amazon [request for proposals] is kind of a tasty morsel that I think mayors and economic development people all perked up and said, 'You know, that would be phenomenal to have that in our community,' " Iveson told reporters.
"Certainly we take the opportunity very seriously, and if there's an opportunity for us to put in a bid I wouldn't want us to let that opportunity go by."
The Seattle-based company said earlier Thursday it is looking for locations for something it is calling HQ2 — a second headquarters. The company said it will invest $5 billion US to develop the site and within a decade house as many as 50,000 workers in more than eight million square feet of space.
Edmonton wasn't alone in expressing immediate interest on Thursday.
Calgary, Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa and Halifax are also waving their flags.
"We are exploring it, we're looking at the RFP," Iveson said. "If they are shopping for a bargain basement and tax incentives that Alberta couldn't afford right now, for example, that might make it more difficult. But if they are really hunting for value, I think we could make a great case."
Edmonton boasts "great talent," affordable downtown real estate, strong technology and research communities and "multiple direct flights a day to Seattle," Iveson said.
Edmonton to bid on 'tasty morsel' $5-billon Amazon headquarters