On the day when cities across North America polish their final proposals for Amazon’s second headquarters building and its promise of 50,000 jobs, Missouri has decided to submit its own bid for what the company is calling HQ2.
Drew Erdmann, the chief operating officer for Gov. Eric Greiten’s office, said Missouri’s bid highlights the possibility of Amazon considering locating in both Kansas City and St. Louis.
“What we are challenging Amazon to consider is, imagine the power if you can combine both cities into one plan for developing HQ2,” Erdmann said in an interview with The Star. “And we believe this is a bold transformative vision for the state and for the region and suits the ambitions of Amazon.”
Amazon in September announced it wanted to put a second headquarters building somewhere in North America in a city with at least one million people. The company predicted HQ2 would have a $38 billion economic impact in whatever city it ends up in. That prospect has set cities on a quest to entice Amazon, through both reasoned appeals and publicity stunts.
Missouri’s bid is separate and distinct from those being made by Kansas City and St. Louis. Erdmann said the state continues to support the offers made by Kansas City and St. Louis.
“We introduced the idea early in those conversations with both teams simultaneously,” Erdmann said. “Both city teams, I would say, were intrigued with the idea.”
Tim Cowden, president and chief executive of the Kansas City Area Development Council, is spearheading metro region’s bid for HQ2, which has involved coordination with both Kansas and Missouri leaders.
“We are aware that Missouri has additional information that will be submitted to Amazon in support of the KC and St. Louis proposals,” Cowden said in a statement. “We have been working closely with both states throughout the process and both have been very supportive of the KC region’s response.”
Missouri and the KCADC are not revealing the contents of their proposals on Thursday, despite Amazon’s public call for pitches.
Kansas has said it would make an aggressive pitch for HQ2, but has not yet released any details.
Erdmann said Missouri’s proposals hopes Amazon might consider co-locating in both cities and turn Interstate 70, with Columbia and the University of Missouri in between, into what he called an “Innovation Corridor.”
Erdmann said the possibility of establishing a Hyperloop — an ultra-fast vacuum train system — between Kansas City and St. Louis at some point in the future could appeal to Amazon.
Although Kansas City says it’s not revealing its proposal, senators and representatives in in Washington have made their own appeals to have Amazon consider Kansas City
In a letter sent on Thursday by U.S. Sens. Jerry Moran and Pat Roberts, along with Reps. Vicky Hartzler, Kevin Yoder, Lynn Jenkins, Emanuel Cleaver and Sam Graves sought to highlight the Kansas City metro area.
“The diversity of exemplary educational institutions in the area will naturally serve as an abundant source of skilled labor to Amazon as it has for existing employers in the region, and access to the top quality public and private educational opportunities in the country continue to draw families to the Kansas City area,” the joint letter reads.
U.S. Sens. Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill argued on Missouri’s behalf in a joint letter sent earlier this week.