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Rochester does not make cut for Amazon HQ

Jan 19, 2018
Originally published on January 18, 2018 1:50 pm

Rochester will not be the home for Amazon’s second headquarters.

On Thursday morning, Amazon released the list of 20 finalist cities, pared down from an initial list of 238. Rochester did not make the cut.

Leaders in local economic development and government had recently expressed optimism that Rochester would land on the list of possible destinations.

In a statement, Amazon expressed gratitude to all municipalities that entered bids.

The list of finalists include the following cities:

  • Atlanta, GA
  • Austin, TX
  • Boston, MA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Columbus, OH
  • Dallas, TX
  • Denver, CO
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Miami, FL
  • Montgomery County, MD
  • Nashville, TN
  • Newark, NJ
  • New York City, NY
  • Northern Virginia, VA
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Toronto, ON
  • Washington D.C.

Amazon said it evaluated the areas based on criteria released in its call for proposals. For example, it had a preference for "metropolitan areas with more than 1 million people" within a 45-minute drive of an international airport and with direct access to mass transit. In 10 years, it wants to have 8 million square feet of space to build in the area.

Many cities are also offering incentives to Amazon as part of their proposals. 

The extra space will help the rapidly-growing company, which had nearly 542,000 employees at the end of September, a 77 percent jump from the year before. Some of that growth came from Amazon's nearly $14 billion acquisition last year of natural foods grocer Whole Foods and its 89,000 employees. 

Now, Amazon says it will "dive deeper" into candidate proposals, with an ultimate decision expected in 2018.

Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo issued a response:

“As I said from the beginning, fully participating in this process will help our community better compete for other global employers and jobs in the future, regardless of the end result.

Our region likely scored highly on much of Amazon’s core selection criteria, particularly when it comes to our highly-skilled workforce and world-class colleges and universities.

We can and will use those assets as opportunities to attract even more jobs and investment here moving forward.

Through the County's targeted economic development efforts, we’ve helped employers secure over 9,000 local jobs in the past two years alone, leaving no doubt that Monroe County is very much open for business.”

 

Includes reporting from The Associated Press.

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