Since Amazon announced last month that it was looking for a place to put a second headquarters, cities across the country have been bending over backwards to prove themselves worthy of the opportunity to host the enormous complex.
Right off the bat, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti declared his intention to woo the tech giant, and since Amazon released requirements for bidders, plenty of other Southern California cities have also joined the increasingly pageant-like competition to win the new headquarters. (Interested cities must be part of a metropolitan area with over 1 million residents, have a business-friendly environment, and have access to an international airport and public transit options.)
Today is the deadline for cities to submit proposals. Let’s take a look at a few sites around the LA area that have been proposed for the new campus, which is expected to bring 53,000 jobs.
Los Angeles City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield argued last month that Amazon would feel right at home in the San Fernando Valley. Specifically, Blumenfield proposed the former Rocketdyne Plant in rapidly redeveloping Warner Center as a relatively transit-friendly and Hollywood-accessible site with plenty of room for the new headquarters, which could grow to around 8 million square feet in size.
Los Angeles County, the city of Pomona, Cal Poly Pomona, and organizers of the LA County Fair, announced this week that much of the Fairplex and parts of Cal Poly Pomona’s large campus could be made available to Amazon. The proposal presents a somewhat less urban option for the new headquarters (which could make use of the fair’s farm buildings), but one that would include plenty of acreage and access to a university’s research facilities—and an endless supply of interns.
Long Beach/Huntington Beach
Tired of the Silicon Beach moniker? Wait until you hear about “Amazon Coast.” That’s what the cities of Long Beach and Huntington Beach are calling a joint proposal for the headquarters announced yesterday. Under the plan, the tech company could move into three sites across both cities, including former Boeing offices in Huntington Beach and a trio of waterfront towers in Downtown Long Beach.
To really butter the company up, the two cities released a video on Amazon’s Twitch video platform to promote the plan.
Home to a few tech companies already, Irvine is so confident in its ability to land Amazon’s new headquarters, the Orange County city has styled its proposal in past tense—as if the company was already moving in. The plan would pepper Amazon offices around the Irvine Spectrum Center and a business complex west of the 133 freeway. The city is touting the site’s close proximity to universities, airports, and shopping and dining options.
Led by developer Mike Harrah, this plan would disperse the new headquarters across three development sites in Santa Ana and Garden Grove, including the former home base of the Orange County Register. Called “Orange County Silicon City,” the proposal relies heavily on the completion of a long-planned streetcar line that would connect the three project sites.
In the face of tough competition from cities across the nation, Mayor Eric Garcetti has been unusually coy about LA’s bid for the new Amazon headquarters, offering few specifics about where the facility might be located. A spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation tells the Los Angeles Times that the LA County bid for HQ2 includes nine sites, but refused to specify where they might be. Speculate away!