If you didn't know: Chicago is 1 of the 20 cities Amazon is considering to call its next home. Amazon is asking for 8 million square feet, making it the biggest economic development target in decades, experts say. So what should we expect if say, Amazon does choose us? Well, lets take a look at what happened to Seattle after Amazon opened its first headquarters there.
Amazon has contributed $30 billion to the local economy and as much as $55 billion more in spinoff benefits. Unemployment in the Seattle area is 3.7 percent, below the national rate of 4.4 percent. Much of that progress is the result of Amazon's decision to open its first headquarters downtown a decade ago.
John Schoettler, who oversees real estate for the online giant, thought it simplest and least expensive to plan a suburban headquarters. Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos had a different idea. He wanted to stay in Seattle.
"Jeff said the type of employees we want to hire and retain will want to live in an urban environment. They are going to want to work, live and play in the urban core," Schoettler said.
Seattle is now the fastest-growing big city in the United States.
According to The Chicago Tribune, Chicago is a top runner for Amazon and execs were “impressed” with our high-stakes bid to land the deal.
Amazon official Jay Carney emailed Mayor Rahm Emmanuel back in January when it was first announced Chicago was still in the running for Amazon's second headquarters, beating 218 other cities.
Jay wrote: “Rahm — Assume you saw our news. We look forward to diving in deeper on Chicago’s proposal. As I think I mentioned before, everyone here was impressed with the proposal your team put together. Many thanks, Jay.”
Rahm responded: “Yes aware. Thanks. Hope you saw the recognition of our neighborhoods (7) that have it all!”
The mayor’s response was a reference to a January real estate rankings list published by Redfin, naming the nation’s “25 neighborhoods that ‘have it all’: affordable homes, highly rated schools, an easy commute and plenty of inventory.”
Jay responded: “I did. Good stuff.”
Rahm ended the email exchange with an apparent joke: “Who's your daddy? Talk soon. Hope family is good.”
Well, we can only hope Jay from Amazon appreciates our Mayors laid-back response, and if not: Good Luck to Amazon for finding a better fit “daddy”