City commission recommends Austin use every tool in the toolbox to attract Amazon's HQ2

Austin formally submitted its bid to host Amazon's second headquarters on Wednesday, Oct. 18.

Austin formally submitted its bid to host Amazon's second headquarters on Wednesday, Oct. 18.

With cities across the country competing for a chance to attract Amazon, Austin’s Economic Prosperity Commission on Wednesday recommended the city use everything in its arsenal to lasso in the tech giant’s second headquarters.

The lengthy recommendation came in the wake of news that the Austin Chamber of Commerce officially submitted a bid to have the Live Music Capital of the World host Amazon’s “HQ2”—to which it has been regularly referred.

The Economic Prosperity Commission—made up of representatives from trade and business associations and chambers of commerce—advises City Council on matters related to construction and job creation. The commission passed the recommendation 6-0 with four members absent. The recommendation will be sent up to City Council and await approval.

Commissioner Holt Lackey, the recommendation's primary author, spoke confidently about Austin’s chances to secure the project. He said from his perspective, much of what Amazon prefers in the prospective city sounds like Austin.

However, with dozens of U.S. cities submitting bids, Lackey said Austin would need to put everything on the table.

“Economic incentives are a big part of the bid,” Lackey said. “We need to express a willingness to use all economic development tools we have in the toolbox.”

The online shopping and technology giant announced the plans earlier this week. The process for submitting proposals opened Thursday, Sept. 7, and will close on Thursday, Oct. 19.

Amazon estimates the new headquarters will result in a $5 billion investment and bring 50,000 high-paying jobs to the city that lands the project. According to Amazon documents, it is estimated that Amazon’s Seattle headquarters brought an additional $38 billion to the local economy between 2010 and 2016.

For prospective cities, there is a lot to be desired in hosting Amazon’s second headquarters; however, Amazon desires much from its future location. Check out how Austin stacks up to Amazon’s preferences.

Several Austin metro cities, including Round Rock, Leander and Cedar Park contributed potential sites for Austin's proposal.
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