City Officials Taking Extra Steps To Try To Bring Amazon’s New HQ To Pittsburgh

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh has started putting its pitch together to land e-commerce giant, Amazon. The company announced last week it’s looking for a site to build a second headquarters.

It would be a big prize for any city with tens of thousands of jobs. So, Pittsburgh officials are already spending money to woo the company.

KDKA’s Paul Martino Reports —

Local leaders believe all the criteria is in place.

“When you look at the workforce, when you look at the educational community, when you look at the pipeline of people coming from the universities – skilled workforce and the training, we’ll be able to do,” said Pa. Sen. Jay Costa.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority, on Thursday, authorized $50,000 to hire the consulting firm BCG Platinion to put together a proposal to attract Amazon here.

But that’s just the beginning.

All told, the City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, the URA and the city’s foundations are expected to spend a quarter million dollars just to make a presentation to Amazon.

The online giant will spend $5 billion to build a second headquarters, and will eventually hire 50,000 people to work there.

Kevin Acklin, the chairman of the URA, says Pittsburgh is well positioned for the new headquarters.

“With universities, the story we have in rebuilding ourselves, the innovation, the [research and development] that’s happening in Pittsburgh, the relative, competitive cost of living,” said Acklin. “All the things that we think a company like Amazon is looking for, we think we have here in Pittsburgh. So we’re going to swing for the fences.”

When all is said and done, a quarter million dollars may be a drop in the bucket. That’s because any final proposal will likely include tens of millions in tax breaks, grant money and property.

Pittsburgh is considered to be on the short list for the headquarters, but other cities like Boston, Chicago, Denver and Toronto are in the hunt.

Mayor Bill Peduto says Pittsburgh is on the shortlist for two reasons.

“They’re called Carnegie Mellon and Pitt,” he said. “The research and talent we’re able to produce here is exactly what they’re looking for to create their second headquarters.”

It’s expected to be a fierce competition. And while it may evolve into a bidding war among the front-running cities, right now, Pittsburgh isn’t backing down from the financial fight.

“Pittsburgh is clearly becoming one of the global cities in the world, not just the United States. I think by Amazon moving here, they win, we win, everybody wins,” Bill Strickland, the CEO of Manchester Bidwell Corporation, said.

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