Earlier today Amazon announced plans for a second corporate headquarters in North America. The fun part is that it is seeking proposals from across the continent to land what will be a huge economic driver for whatever community it lands in. From the press release:
Amazon expects to invest over $5 billion in construction and grow this second headquarters to include as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs. In addition to Amazon’s direct hiring and investment, construction and ongoing operation of Amazon HQ2 is expected to create tens of thousands of additional jobs and tens of billions of dollars in additional investment in the surrounding community. Amazon is opening the Amazon HQ2 Request for Proposal (“RFP”) now, and local and state government leaders interested in learning more about how they can bring Amazon to their community can visit www.amazon.com/amazonHQ2.
Amazon is seeking office space comparable to its Seattle headquarters, which consists of 33 buildings totaling 8.1 million square feet. While Conshohocken couldn’t handle all of that, it has about 1.5 million square feet of office space, approved, but not built. There are also two approved apartment developments that have not been built that could be flipped to office buildings instead, plus a couple other properties that have not yet sought redevelopment. So all together, Conshohocken could contribute at least two to three million of the square feet needed.
Norristown has a lot of riverfront that is ready to be redeveloped and the state and county have already moved to generate redevelopment through the Lafayette Street Corridor project that will eventually link downtown Norristown to the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Between the two towns, there is plenty of opportunity to construct the headquarters.
But would Amazon want to be spread out so far? Lets get creative. Our thought is all the buildings are connected via the existing rail between Conshohocken and Norristown. Amazon could have it own shuttles using the tracks. Tech people love rail!
- We realize that Conshohocken and Norristown don’t meet the exact requirements sought by Amazon, but it states in the RFP, “– As described herein, finding suitable buildings/sites is of paramount importance. Amazon HQ2 is a transformational Project, and we must ensure we have the best real estate options available whether this be a redevelopment opportunity, a partnership with the state, province, local government, or new buildings. All options are under consideration.” MTTC added the bold to highlight the last sentence.
- People are going to start commenting, “but the traffic!” If this were to actually happen, there of course would need to be major transportation improvements. Better roads, a second bridge (in Whitemarsh), etc.
If you want to view the RFP click here.
So what do you think? Should Conshohocken, Norristown, the county and the state file a joint proposal?
Let us know know in the comments.