KC not among list of finalists for second Amazon headquarters

Posted at 8:19 AM, Jan 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-18 20:36:18-05

A statement from Amazon about the potential location for its $5 billion investment in a second headquarters does not include Kansas City among its list of 20 finalists.

The company reported on its website that it plans to invest $5 billion in construction and the second headquarters will create as many as 50,000 "high-paying jobs." 

The list includes Toronto along with 19 communities in the United States. Major population centers such as New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago were included along with smaller cities such as Columbus, Ohio, and Pittsburgh. 

The list of 20 finalists is as follows:

  • Toronto
  • Columbus
  • Indianapolis
  • Chicago
  • Denver
  • Nashville
  • Los Angeles
  • Dallas
  • Austin
  • Boston
  • New York City
  • Newark
  • Pittsburgh
  • Philadelphia
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Atlanta
  • Miami
  • Raleigh
  • Montgomery County (D.C. area)
  • Northern Virginia (D.C. area)

Amazon's first headquarters in Seattle has more than 40,000 employees and includes 33 buildings totaling 8.1 million square feet, according to the company's website. 

Read the statement from Amazon below:

"Amazon HQ2 will be Amazon’s second headquarters in North America. We expect to invest over $5 billion in construction and grow this second headquarters to include as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs – it will be a full equal to our current campus in Seattle. In addition to Amazon’s direct hiring and investment, construction and ongoing operation of Amazon HQ2 is expected to create tens of thousands of additional jobs and tens of billions of dollars in additional investment in the surrounding community."

The Kansas City Area Development Council (KCADC) wrote the Amazon proposal and even hand-delivered it. 

They were disappointed Thursday that our area didn’t make the cut but are encouraged moving forward. 

“We’ll learn from it,” Tim Cowden, CEO of the KCADC, told 41 Action News. 

Cowden can think of a few reasons why Kansas City wasn’t among the 20 cities on Amazon’s shortlist. 

“Some of that came down to population density. If you look at the markets that did make the cut the vast majority are on the eastern seaboard or on the eastern time zone,” Cowden said. 

While major cities like New York, Philadelphia and Miami were chosen, there were also Indianapolis and Columbus, Ohio.

“It doesn’t necessarily surprise me about Columbus. They were the winner of the Smart City competition a few years ago, and we were one of the seven finalists for that,” KCMO City Manager Troy Schulte told 41 Action News.

Schulte believes Amazon went after the lucrative proposals. 

“Obviously we did not—we probably couldn’t put forward as a rich enough financial incentive as some of those other cities did,” Schulte said.

KCADC hasn't released Kansas City's proposal, saying it contains proprietary information, but the State of Missouri and St. Louis gave 41 Action News a copy of their proposals. St. Louis's can be read at this link. Missouri's can be read in full below.





So where does Kansas City stand moving forward? 

“I think that from a city perspective and from a region perspective we’ve got to be aggressive going after these types of opportunities whether it’s the National Republican Convention or Amazon or if there’s an opportunity for Apple’s second headquarters,” Schulte said.

Apple is planning to open a new campus but hasn’t said whether or not it’ll seek proposals like Amazon did.

“We’re going to go hard for Apple and a bunch of other companies that are currently evaluating Kansas City,” Cowden said.

Schulte added that long-term investments like the new airport terminal will go along way in persuading other companies. 

Schulte released the following statement in reaction to Amazon's announcement: 

"Kansas City’s Amazon bid was a great team effort, and showed how leaders across the metro can come together to work on important projects like this. It was a creative bid, and we will continue to be aggressive in pursuing these opportunities for KCMO. After all, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Also, the national publicity for Kansas City generated by this competition shared news about our city’s momentum and economic growth."

Mayor Sly James gave the following statement: 

"First of all, I’d like to congratulate the 20 cities that have been selected as finalists for Amazon’s second headquarters. I can understand that some Kansas Citians may be disappointed, but it’s important to remember that as a result of this very collaborative effort, more people today know more great things about Kansas City than they ever did before. Kansas City will continue to develop transformational projects and partnerships that continue the momentum you feel in every block and every neighborhood of this great city. We truly are a city on the rise, and I look forward to our exciting future."