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St. Louis, Kansas City fail to make final list for Amazon HQ

St. Louis, Kansas City fail to make final list for Amazon HQ

January 18th, 2018 by Philip Joens in Missouri News

FILE - This Sept. 6, 2012, file photo shows the Amazon logo in Santa Monica, Calif. On Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017, Amazon announced that teens can now shop at Amazon on their own, if their parents let them. Adults can add up to four teenagers to their account, giving youngsters their own login information to buy stuff from the Amazon app. Parents can set spending limits, cancel orders and get notifications when something is bought. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)

Bids by Kansas City and St. Louis to build Amazon's second headquarters failed to make a list of 20 finalists the company released Thursday.

Wherever it's built, the sprawling new campus will cost at least $5 billion to build and create 50,000 new high-paying jobs, according to Amazon. In all, 238 cities submitted proposals. Amazon said in a news release that narrowing the field was a tough process.

"Through this process we learned about many new communities across North America that we will consider as locations for future infrastructure investment and job creation," Holly Sullivan of Amazon's public policy team said in the news release.

Amazon plans to spend at least $5 billion on the new campus and spend tens of billions of dollars in the communities surrounding the new campus. Kansas City and St. Louis officials kept quiet about the financial details of the bids they submitted. Some cities and states offered hundreds of millions of dollars in tax credits.

Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Boston; Chicago; Columbus, Ohio; Dallas; Denver, Indianapolis; Los Angeles; Miami; Montgomery County, Maryland; Nashville; Newark, New Jersey; New York; Northern Virginia, Virginia.; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; Raleigh, North Carolina; Toronto; and Washington, D.C., made the list of finalists.

New Jersey proposed $7 billion in city and state tax credits if the company located in Newark. Reuters reported Amazon also could be eligible for $300 million in tax credits from that state.

St. Louis' bid encompassed downtown St. Louis and the St. Louis riverfront on both sides of the Mississippi River. Gov. Eric Greitens and Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner both included cover letters with the St. Louis bid. Prior to the submission deadline, St. Louis received the most Twitter mentions related to Amazon's second headquarter, Reuters reported.

Cities also got creative as they made splashy attempts to garner attention from the company. Kansas City Mayor Sly James sat at his desk flanked by Amazon boxes and talked about the city's strengths related to each product.

The Missouri Department of Economic Development announced in October it would support both bids for Amazon's second headquarters.

In an attempt to woo the company, Greitens touted a proposed plan for a hyperloop across the state that could decrease travel times between Kansas City and St. Louis to just 25 minutes. The hyperloop would follow the path of Interstate 70 across Missouri and make a stop in Columbia between Kansas City and St. Louis. The 240 mile track could ferry riders between Kansas City and St. Louis at 671 mph.

Still in the early planning stages, the hyperloop works like a monorail in an airless pipeline. If built, the hyperloop's cars would levitate above an electromagnetic rail. A vacuum would take air out of the tube, creating an environment without friction and drag.

Missouri business, state and education leaders expressed their support Oct. 3 for a study that could determine if building the system is possible. Hyperloop One, which could build the project, said in October the state is among the top three to five contenders for a hyperloop track.