Amazon announced the search for a second North American headquarters on Thursday, saying it would give preference to areas with 1 million residents or more. It didn't take long for cities to throw their names out for consideration.
Spokesperson for the City of Chicago: "Chicago's unmatched workforce, world-class universities and unparalleled access to destinations throughout the world make it the perfect headquarters location for companies large and small. That's also why Chicago has led the nation in corporate relocations for the last four years."
William Cole, president and CEO of the Baltimore Development Corp.: "Baltimore's strategic location in the Mid-Atlantic and its accessibility via highway, rail, port and air, make us a great fit for Amazon's second headquarters. Also, we've worked with Amazon in the past when they opened their distribution center and they know that we can be a good partner."
Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh: "I've already met with Bill Cole and we are excited by Amazon's latest announcement and will pursue this opportunity aggressively to make a compelling case for Baltimore City as its second headquarter location."
A Houston spokesperson: "Houston is definitely interested in the Amazon HQ project and will look into the process of formally soliciting it. Houston is the most diverse city in the nation, has always been a business-friendly environment, is the home of the number one US port for exports and has a proven history of cutting edge advances at places such as the Texas Medical Center and the NASA Manned Space Center as well as all across the energy industry. Recently Amazon began hiring 2,500 local workers for a distribution center here."
New York City
Spokesperson for New York City mayor's office: "New York City has the most innovative and diverse tech sector in the nation. We are very interested in the possibility of Amazon locating a headquarters in the five boroughs, and believe the city's competitive advantages position it well."
Mayor Martin Walsh to the Boston Business Journal: "If Amazon wants an East Coast headquarters, I don't see any city better in America than Boston, Massachusetts."
Mayor Darrell Steinberg: "Our city and region are putting real energy into intentionally building and growing an innovative and well connected ecosystem unlike anywhere else in the country. We are about people, and we are pulling together our best and brightest from across the region to work together on a competitive plan for Amazon and are confident in the unique assets and abilities our region has to offer."
Dallas Mayor Michael Rawlings: "We've already contacted Amazon to express our interest and have proceeded to their prescribed next step. We will aggressively demonstrate that Dallas and our surrounding area would be the perfect spot for their expansive business needs. Amazon already has an extensive amount of business here. They've been good corporate citizens and we look forward to future conversations."
Toronto Mayor John Tory: "I firmly believe that Toronto is a prime candidate to host Amazon's second headquarters in North America. We are a bold, innovative city that has plenty of homegrown tech talent. We also continue to attract talent and companies from around the world. City staff are working with Toronto Global to make sure we put together an attractive bid for this opportunity. I will be leading the charge to make the case that Amazon should call Toronto home."
Vancouver, British Columbia
Spokesperson from the City of Vancouver: "Yes, Vancouver will certainly be putting in a bid to submit for the HQ!"
Spokesperson for the City of Philadelphia: "Obviously, this is going to be a very competitive process. Philadelphia will be submitting a proposal and given their preference for a city with over 1,000,000 people, Philadelphia would provide them with a perfectly located East Coast hub where they have access to a rapidly growing millennial talent pool. We're also much more affordable than other nearby east coast cities with similar population sizes."
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf: "Oakland always seeks to attract jobs and prosperity to our great city," said Mayor Libby Schaaf. "We're excited to explore the Amazon HQ2 project and the benefits it could bring to our community, as well as our region. At an estimated 50,000 employees, the project would have a profound impact on Bay Area residents, and in the midst of a statewide housing affordability crisis, we would need to address all outcomes a project of this magnitude would create."
San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg: "San Antonio is increasingly recognized as a leading city for the 21st Century. Every day, the City and its regional partners work together to compete for jobs and economic development opportunities for this community. We have the workforce, infrastructure and quality of life that all major corporations look for in a location. In coordination with the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation, Team San Antonio is ready to show that our City is in the most competitive position possible when those opportunities arise and when they align with community priorities."
Erica Hurtak, Vice President of Public Affairs and Communications for the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation: "In the wake of Amazon's announcement of a second headquarters search, a local team comprised of the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation, the City, County, and private-sector partners is engaged and ready to pursue the opportunity. San Antonio is primed for an initiative of this size, and while competition for the site will be aggressive, we are confident in the assets our community has to offer."
City of San Diego spokesperson: "San Diego has the geographic proximity to international markets, unparalleled quality of life and workforce talent that companies like Amazon are looking for, so Mayor Faulconer's office has directed the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation to coordinate a regional response."
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti: "Over the last four years, our economy has come roaring back with record-breaking job growth and investment across our City. L.A. is the perfect place for a company like Amazon to find talented workers, and an environment that nurtures growth and innovation. I welcome the opportunity to compete for this remarkable investment, and the tens of thousands of good-paying jobs it is sure to bring with it."
... And one voice of caution
There was at least one voice of caution as cities stepped up to woo Amazon, though. California Congressman Ro Khanna, a Democrat whose district encompasses part of Silicon Valley, tweeted that "tech companies, flush with cash, must not demand local tax breaks up front."