MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Amazon is looking for a new home, and the Twin Cities could be an ideal fit.
The e-commerce giant is looking to spend billions of dollars on a second headquarters somewhere in North America.
They say the new facility would bring thousands of new jobs, but when your company is worth hundreds of billions of dollars, house-hunting can get a little more complicated.
Amazon says the ideal new city will have more than a million residents, be near an international airport, and have mass transit — and the numbers really speak for themselves. Amazon would invest as much as $5 billion to build and operate a facility that would employ as many as 50,000 people.
Cities have a month to apply. Chicago, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia have already said they will.
Several cities in Minnesota are throwing their hats into the ring, too. Governor Mark Dayton and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman released statements Thursday essentially saying they are ready to lay out the welcome mat for Amazon.
“From a basic, business standpoint, it’s unquestionably good for us and probably good for Amazon too,” University of Minnesota marketing professor George John said.
John says the Twin Cities already have a cluster of major retail businesses like Best Buy, Target and SuperValu for a reason.
“Employees always want to go to places where there are multiple companies that are more or less in the same business. That’s what we call a cluster,” he said.
That’s good, because it means logistics are already in place. John says the Twin Cities don’t look that much different from Amazon’s hometown of Seattle.
“The difference is we don’t have the explosive growth, and our cost of living is still lower. Our employees costs are lower,” he said. “In fact, tech salaries are more competitive here than anywhere else in the country.”
With that being said, John believes Amazon will look for tax breaks and other benefits to help sway their decision. Their new facility is expected to be more than 7 million square feet of office space.