BUFFALO, NY — Across the country, cities are bidding for Amazon's second headquarters.
Stonecrest, Georgia says it'll rename part of the city Amazon, and St. Louis has a social media campaign with high production value videos.
Tuscon tried sending Amazon a 21 foot cactus, but Amazon kindly denied the gift.
The competition is a fierce, but a joint effort to pitch both Buffalo and Rochester as a regional hub to Amazon aims to showcase all the good that Western New York has to offer.
Mayor Byron Brown calls it a creative approach and one that he really believes gives us a chance.
"I absolutely think it's realistic to think that Amazon could pick Western New York,” Brown said. “We don’t feel we have anything to make up for.”
Brown touts economic growth and a young workforce that’s currently being molded in local universities Amazon already recruits from.
"We are in it to win it,” Brown said.
The joint proposal, according to Invest Buffalo Niagara, helps Western New York stand out.
"We're at the bottom end as far as population on qualifying to be able to submit, but if we combine efforts, we move up from 50th to 28th,” said Tom Kucharski, President and CEO of Invest Buffalo Niagara.
Amazon’s population criteria calls for a metropolitan area with more than one million people. It also calls for connecting highways, international airports, and a friendly business climate.
Western New York has the highways. It sort-of has the required types of airports: The Buffalo Niagara International Airport is technically an international airport, but doesn’t fly to other countries beyond Mexico and U.S. territories at this time. New York has in recent years been called the least business friendly state in terms of taxes, but it does throw major incentives at companies with big potential.
"If this goes anywhere within this corridor, it's going to be good for our entire region,” Mayor Brown said.
Perhaps more than anything, Amazon needs space. It requires half a million square feet to start and 8 million square feet over 20 years.
"Buffalo and Rochester are cities that have infrastructure that was designed for a lot more people than live here, and we can accommodate this growth where other places would be strapped to try and do so,” Kucharski said.
Erie County legislator Joseph Lorigo was perhaps the first local leader to say Buffalo does have a chance for that very reason.
“They’re looking for a site where they can build a huge expansion of infrastructure for their own facility. We have that,” he said last month.
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