Mere minutes after Amazon released a request for proposals for a second headquarters worth $5 billion on Thursday, several North Texas cities got to work.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings expressed his intention to court the tech giant. Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price said her city is also developing a strategy to recruit Amazon.
But if Amazon goes the way of Toyota, State Farm, Liberty Mutual, FedEx, and JPMorgan Chase (just to name a few), it could be headed to Collin County. Some cities in the county are already considering the RFP in hopes of luring Amazon’s promised 50,000 jobs. To consider an area, the company wants an international airport, mass transportation, a population of more than one million, tax breaks and subsidies, and good schools.
“We think the Dallas-Fort Worth area has to be a top contender, and Collin County has to be right up there as well,” Allen Economic Development Corp. CEO and Executive Director Dan Bowman said. “On the coattails of Toyota and the many other corporate relocations, Allen is right in the middle.”
Bowman named Hines’ 135-acre site at Alma Road and State Highway 121 called The Strand, and Howard Hughes’ 238-acre site near State Highway 121 and U.S. 75, as some of Allen’s most attractive sites for the headquarters.
Though Bowman has no qualms admitting Allen will answer the RFP, some of the city’s neighbors remain tight-lipped.
“We typically do not discuss any conversations that may be occurring with prospective companies and would prefer not to comment further,” Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere said. “However, I would say that we view Plano as an economic development center of North Texas. The components of a safe city, terrific schools, and great quality of life, along with close proximity to DFW Airport, are all wonderful reasons why many companies have been attracted to Plano, and why I view us as a great candidate for consideration.”
Frisco is taking a similar approach.
“It’s not our practice to confirm or deny any level of involvement in any potential economic development projects,” the City of Frisco said via spokeswoman Catherine Ross.
McKinney is toying with the idea of responding to the request.
“We’ll definitely be taking a hard look at whether or not we’ll be answering [the RFP],” McKinney EDC Economic Development Corp. President Darrell Auterson said. “We’re reviewing it right now.”
If Amazon selected Dallas, it would not be the first time the tech giant bet on the city, though an Amazon deal of this size is unprecedented outside Seattle. Amazon first leased office space in Galleria Towers in 2014 and has since doubled its regional office footprint there to around 180,000 square feet. Amazon fulfillment facilities already exist in Dallas, Fort Worth, Coppell, and Haslet.
Throughout Texas, Amazon employs about 20,000 people.