Kansas City angling for second Amazon headquarters

By Paul Thompson
Northeast News

Kansas City is hoping it can be a prime contender for Amazon’s second national headquarters.

The search for Amazon HQ2’s home city, announced by the Seattle-based behemoth on September 7, left cities throughout North America scrambling to establish their credentials for the $5 billion project. Kansas City was no exception.

On the same day of Amazon’s announcement, the City of Kansas City, Missouri issued a press release stating its intention to submit a bid for HQ2, which could bring with it as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs.

“Kansas City has a great workforce and an excellent cost of living that would be attractive to any national company,” said City Manager Troy Schulte in the release. “Add in our tech and Smart City infrastructure, plus jazz, fountains, BBQ and a thriving creative scene, and we think Amazon will take a good look at KC.”

The press release also indicated that Schulte has already directed City staff to begin gathering partners to help create a competitive bid for Amazon’s HQ2. Along with the initial press release, Amazon simultaneously released a Request for Proposal inviting state and local government leaders to bid on the project. The first phase of the RFP process will be open until October 19, 2017.

Within the RFP document, Amazon indicated a preference to work with creative, business-friendly metropolitan areas with more than one million residents. The RFP also calls for access to mass transit at the HQ2 site, with access to highways or major arterials no more than 1-2 miles away. A benefit to Kansas City’s bid could be the city’s fiber network; the Amazon RFP explicitly states that “Ensuring optimal fiber connectivity is paramount at our HQ2 location,” and asks that all interested cities demonstrate the fiber connectivity in their bid for all submitted sites.

KCMO Communications Director Chris Hernandez said that the decision to enter the Amazon bidding was a no-brainer for Kansas City.

“I think basically as soon as everyone saw the announcement by Amazon, it’s pretty clear that Kansas City should be a strong contender for this,” Hernandez said. “Obviously it’s going to be a strong competition. I just think that given the first burst of information about this process, Kansas City has a lot of what they’re looking for.”

First District Kansas City Councilman Scott Wagner indicated on Friday, September 8 that area residents were already getting excited about the prospect of luring Amazon to Kansas City.

“Interestingly, I had a couple of constituents who had sent something to me saying that we should go for this,” Wagner said. “Clearly, there was some excitement out there in the community. The question became, ‘why not us?’”

Wagner met that question with equal enthusiasm.

“It just seemed natural that we attempt to go for it,” he said. “I think we’ve got a lot of assets that we bring that should be really attractive.”

Interestingly, the Amazon announcement and RFP release coincides with the City’s push for a new single terminal at Kansas City International Airport. On Wednesday, September 6, the City’s Procurement Selection Committee officially recommended Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate LLC to lead construction efforts of the single terminal, assuming the plan is approved by taxpayers in the November 7, 2017 election. The KCMO City Council unanimously approved that single terminal ballot language in a ‘unity vote’ on Thursday, August 24.

Wagner suggested that a new single terminal KCI could be an influential aspect of Kansas City’s bid for Amazon’s HQ2.

“Whether it is Amazon or anybody else, when you are trying to attract a business to come to Kansas City, especially when its a multi-national firm, how easy you can get from point A to point B through an airport is important,” Wagner said. “It would certainly be my expectation that a company like Amazon – and they can go anywhere – will try to figure out the movement of their people. The airport will play a part in that.”

Still, Wagner said that he intends to support a new airport with or without Amazon HQ2.

“We actually did put this on the ballot two weeks ago,” Wagner said. “People were going to vote on a new terminal before Amazon made an announcement.”

Comments are closed.

  • Local artists offered chance to display on Crossroads ARTBOARDS

    16 hours ago
    by

    By Melissa Wharton Northeast News Charlotte Street Foundation (CSF) and Missouri Bank are once again calling on local artists for […]


    Fire destroys home near Askew and Smart

    September 22nd, 2017
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News An early morning fire near the intersection of Askew and Smart on Friday, September 22 […]


    Northeast Newscast Episode 27 – Northeast HS Homecoming and sports at KCPS w/ athletic director Dr. James Sanders

    September 21st, 2017
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News This week on the Northeast Newscast, Kansas City Public Schools athletic director Dr. James Sanders […]


    New development announced at site of former Northeast Apple Market

    September 20th, 2017
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News The site of the former Apple Market at 3719 Independence Avenue is expected to become […]


    Metro Miles: A Day on the #11 bus

    September 20th, 2017
    by

    by Paul Thompson Northeast News On the morning of Saturday, September 16, a small group of Northeast residents from the […]


  • KCMO undertakes labor of love

    September 20th, 2017
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News How much do you love your neighborhood? How about your neighbor? A fledgling City sponsored […]


    Activists meet in downtown KC to oppose presidential election integrity commission

    September 20th, 2017
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News Several dozen activists gathered at the north end of Ilus Davis Park in downtown Kansas […]


    Hardesty Renaissance EDC gains access to Building 10

    September 19th, 2017
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News Slowly but surely, the Hardesty Renaissance Economic Development Corporation (HREDC) is gaining access to the […]


    Veterans Pass Available At RideKC Headquarters Sept 19

    September 19th, 2017
    by

    Kansas City, MO A special one-day RideKC Veterans Pass event is slated for the morning of Tuesday, Sept. 19. From […]


    Northeast Newscast Episode 26 – the state of Pendleton Heights w/ PHNA President Jessica Ray

    September 15th, 2017
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News On this week’s episode of the Northeast Newscast, managing editor Paul Thompson talk with Pendleton […]


  • What’s Happening

    CID

    Kansas City’s First Streetcars

    by Michael Bushnell Northeast News Kansas City’s street railway began humbly in 1869 with the advent of small, animal-drawn  cars […]

    retorts illustrated by bryan stalder

  • Local Weather

  • [Advertisement.]