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Amazon Is Opening A New HQ, & Rahm Is Already Angling For Chicago

By Stephen Gossett in News on Sep 7, 2017 6:59PM

Getty Images / Photo: David Ryder

Chicago influencers are forever looking to boost Chicago's rep as a tech hub—and now Mayor Rahm Emanuel is angling for perhaps the most tech-hubby get on the table. After e-commerce leviathan Amazon made the surprise announcement on Thursday that it's looking for home to build its second North American headquarters, word quickly spread that Rahm is indeed already pitching the man in charge.

Emanuel has already had multiple conversations with Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, according to reports.

Mayoral spokesperson Grant Klinzman told the Chicago Sun-Times on Thursday, “Chicago’s unmatched workforce, world-class universities and unparalleled access to destinations throughout the world make it the perfect headquarters location for companies large and small. That’s also why Chicago has led the nation in corporate relocations for the last four years."

Amazon said it plans to invest more than $5 billion in construction and bring 50,000 "high-paying" jobs with the new HQ—which would be a "full equal" to the the company's original headquarters, in Seattle, according to the company's release.

In a request-for-proposal form, Amazon stated it has a preference for a city that meets at least the following criteria. We obviously meet the population threshold. We're sure Rahm is pressing hard to convince the powers that be of the other three:

- Metropolitan areas with more than one million people
- A stable and business-friendly environment
- Urban or suburban locations with the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent
- Communities that think big and creatively when considering locations and real estate options

Amazon of course already has an office in downtown Chicago, and it is building nine fulfillment centers in Illinois. They also have that weird bookstore in Lakeview. Altogether, it sounds like a rather large foot in the digital door.