Sacramento Readying Pitch For Amazon Headquarters

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Amazon has put North America on notice. It’s building a $5 billion second headquarters, bringing 50,000 jobs and the company wants to see who has the best offer.

“I do think we have a shot and we have a strong case to make for our community,” said Barry Broome, the president and CEO of the Greater Sacramento Economic Council.

He says the capital city is the place to be. Sacramento already has an Amazon fulfillment center, skilled workforce, an airport, and plenty of room to grow.

But Broome says California also has high-priced land, and its limited economic incentives could be an issue.

“We know there is going to be an economic challenge for us, but I think as far as amenities and strengths, I can’t imagine anything better than our region,” said Broome.

There are also potential drawbacks. A huge employer would likely drive up an already costly housing market.

“I think Amazon has been viewed, in part, by city leaders and a lot of people in the community as a bit of an annoyance,” said Todd Bishop, the editor of Geek Wire, “you know, you’ve got this monster in your midst.”

It’s a problem Seattle has seen firsthand. According to the Seattle Times, Amazon’s critics say the company has caused housing prices to skyrocket, clogged the streets with traffic and changed the city for the worse. The average home price in Seattle rose by nearly 17 percent this year.

“I think it would spur more builders to show up,” said Franco Garcia, with the Sacramento Association of Realtors.

He says Amazon could have a different effect in Sacramento. Builders are ready to put shovels in the ground but are waiting for the influx of Amazon-type jobs.

“They’re thinking where are those jobs to put people in those homes,” said Garcia.

Other cities that have already expressed interest include Chicago, Boston, Brooklyn, Atlanta, and Toronto.

Others wanting to get in on the Amazon sweepstakes must act fast. The company is asking that all proposals and pitches be submitted by October 19.

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