West Michigan aiming for Amazon’s HQ2


Employees work on a stairway at Amazon's headquarters in downtown Seattle. Courtesy Amazon

West Michigan is tossing its hat in the ring to land Amazon’s next headquarters — a potential $5-billion investment with as many as 50,000 new jobs.

Tim Mroz, VP of marketing and communications at The Right Place in Grand Rapids, said the economic development agency is working on the process to submit an RFP application for the Amazon HQ2 project.

Amazon released its RFP for the project last Thursday.

West Michigan will be competing with a number of markets for the Seattle-based e-commerce giant’s second corporate headquarters.

In choosing a location, Amazon says it has a preference for metropolitan areas with more than 1-million residents, a stable and business-friendly environment, urban or suburban locations with the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent and “communities that think big and creatively when considering locations and real estate options.”

In searching for sites for its new headquarters, Amazon is looking for greenfield sites, in-fill sites, existing buildings or a combination for its new build.

Core preferences include a proximity of about 30 miles to a population center, being within 45 minutes of an international airport, not more than one or two miles from a major highway or arterial roads and on-site access to mass transit.

The phase-one build, planned for 2019, would be more than 500,000 square feet with a total requirement of up to 8-million square feet for additional builds beyond 2027.

RFP applications for the headquarters are due by Oct. 19, and a final site selection and announcement will be made next year.

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