Could Iowa be contender for Amazon's $5 billion HQ2 project?October 02, 2017
Amazon's announcement last week that it would open a second North American headquarters sparked a national competition among states and cities looking to secure one of the largest economic development projects in history.
The new headquarters would not replace the current company base in Seattle. But it promises to deliver as many as 50,000 jobs that on average pay more than $100,000 per year. The $5 billion headquarters would eventually grow to some 8 million square feet, Amazon says.
So will Iowa compete for such a marquee project?
"I think you'll see us responding in some way," said Tina Hoffman, spokeswoman for the Iowa Economic Development Authority.
Iowa isn't home to a metropolitan area of 1 million or more people, a stated Amazon preference. The Des Moines metropolitan area had a population of about 635,000 in July 2016, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
"We might look more at a labor shed area versus just an individual metro," Hoffman said. "That’s where we’re at right now: determining what kind of case we’re putting together to show we could fit that criteria."
Hoffman said officials are reviewing the parameters Amazon laid out in its eight-page request for proposals and determining which communities might be a good fit. Amazon has given cities until Oct. 19 to submit confidential proposals.