Pittsburgh To Amazon: ‘Wait To See What We Do Next’

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — “Tomorrow is almost here.” That’s the message from Pittsburgh officials to Amazon as the city submitted a proposal in hopes of landing the corporation’s second headquarters.

Pittsburgh and Allegheny County have been working on their pitch for weeks.

The second headquarters comes with the promise of 50,000 new jobs, so more than 30 cities are expected to make pitches.

“I almost feel like going back to college, I used that analogy the other day, when you study for a test, and you know when you take that test you did well, and I know the proposal we put together, we did well. We’re going to get an A,” Fitzgerald said.

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“I feel our chances are very good. I can say that we are considered to be one of the frontrunners, and as Rich said, this isn’t something that was put together over a month, this is something that was put together over decades. This is the work of everybody that has believed in Pittsburgh at a time when most people said we were dead,” Peduto said.

City officials released a pitch video to Amazon, showcasing Pittsburgh’s strengths, including how the city has overcome adversity and is forging ahead and building new assets.

“The city that built America, the city that built the world,” the video says. The video ends with the slogan, “Future. Forged. For All.”

The city also launched a website called HQPittsburgh.com where Pittsburghers can go to tell their story about Pittsburgh.

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Pittsburgh businesses are also getting in on the fun of pitching to Amazon. Primanti’s is offering free sandwiches to all Amazon employees if they locate here. And Klavon’s Ice Cream in the Strip is offering up 50,000 free sundaes.

But in all seriousness, Moody’s Analytics ranked Pittsburgh in the top five cities with a real shot at landing Amazon.

Allegheny County Executive Fitzgerald did go to Seattle to chat with Amazon; although, he won’t say much about it: “Well, I’m not going to talk about a private meeting that we had at this point.”

But it’s clear our area does have some advantages, like ready locations such as the Hazelwood Green site, and quality of life.

And Mayor Peduto points to something else.

“There are a lot of local connections to Amazon executives,” said the mayor. “Either born here, raised here, friends with somebody here. It’s amazing how far that Pittsburgh connection goes.”

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald’s Chief of Staff Jennifer Liptak tells the “KDKA Morning News” the proposal isn’t just a county or city proposal.

“Everyone is part of this application…I get calls every single day; I get grabbed every single day, ‘How can I help?’ This isn’t a city or county or university or philanthropic or business community application, this is our regional application. Everyone is taking part and that is something we are all very very proud of,” said Liptak.

Mayor Peduto’s Chief of Staff Kevin Acklin says they have received support all over the region.

“We have support from as far away as Erie for this. Folks from West Virginia, eastern Ohio have signed on to our application so this is really a regional play to show the world that this is a place to come and grow with your families and do business,” said Acklin.

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