After nearly three months of deliberations, Amazon has announced a list of 20 finalist cities to build its new $5 billion headquarters in—and that list includes Denver.
The internet commerce giant last fall sent out a Request for Proposals asking cities across the country, as well as in Canada and Mexico, to tell it why they would be a good fit for the company, which plans to build an 8 million square foot location.
Altogether, more than 240 cities responded, emphasizing their individual transportation and technology assets, the education level of the local workforce, and tax incentive packages of varying sizes.
Albuquerque, El Paso, Phoenix, and Tucson all put in bids to woo the company. Tucson, in submitting its bid. also sent to the Seattle-based company a 21 foot-tall saguaro cactus, which Amazon subsequently declined, saying it couldn’t accept gifts.
Albuquerque, in its bid, emphasized its diverse population and more than 300 days of sunshine, while El Paso noted its bilingual and young workforce as well as the availability of 200 acres that once belonged to the American Smelting and Refining Company.
Denver’s bid was submitted as part of a combined effort by the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation and the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade.
That bid mentioned Denver’s clean energy initiatives, green spaces, the arts, and its educational institutions. The State of Colorado offered incentives to the tune of more than $100 million.
In September, the New York Times picked Denver as the city most likely to win Amazon’s nod based on its supply of tech talent, lifestyle, and affordability.
In a statement in response to Denver having ended up on the finalist list, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper said his state had a reputation as one of the most business-friendly states in America, adding: “We believe the Denver region would be a great choice for Amazon.”
Amazon has said it will make a decision on which city will be its final choice later this year.
by Garry Boulard
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