An enigmatic message from Kansas City Mayor Sly James is stoking intrigue regarding the area effort to land Amazon’s second headquarters.
At about 7 a.m. Wednesday, James tweeted, “I’ve been busy online shopping. Find out why at 3 p.m.” The message included a photo of James surrounded by Amazon boxes.
I’ve been busy online shopping. Find out why at 3 pm. pic.twitter.com/4tpKRqLBFi
— Mayor Sly James (@MayorSlyJames) October 11, 2017
In early September, Amazon announced that it was planning to build a second, $5 billion headquarters that could create as many as 50,000 jobs. The announcement kicked off a frenzy of interest by cities across the nation hoping to entice Amazon.
While its context is still unknown, the 3 p.m. announcement appears to be a publicity effort to help Kansas City’s chances of landing the headquarters. According to the online retail and tech giant’s website, Amazon will be accepting applicants to its request for proposal until Oct. 19.
Similar to the enticements prompted by Google Fiber’s request for proposal, cities are now hoping to woo Amazon through creative means. For instance, the city of Stonecrest, Georgia, recently agreed to change its name to Amazon, Georgia, and give the company 345 acres of land if Amazon chooses it. Tucson, Arizona, decided to send a prickly gift to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in the form of a 21-foot-tall cactus.
Landing such a headquarters has Kansas City leaders and economic development groups salivating. Between 2010 and 2016, Amazon said it estimates that its investments in the Seattle area resulted in an additional $38 billion to the city’s economy. The company claims that every dollar invested by Amazon in Seattle generated an additional $1.40 for the city’s economy overall.
Kansas City’s Smart City initiative is one selling point leaders are highlighting for Amazon. Since the launch of the smart city initiative in 2016, downtown Kansas City has been transforming into a hotbed of sensor networks and Wi-Fi connectivity on and around the 2.2-mile streetcar line.
The Economic Development Corporation Kansas City, KC Tech Council and Kansas City Area Development Council are working together on the area’s proposal, with the KCADC serving as the primary point of contact.
The EDCKC also joined in building the Twitter excitement, highlighting projects that James recently reviewed, including a fishing net, cereal, flashlight, diapers, label maker and more. In many of the reviews, James is promoting an aspect of Kansas City’s community, including Google Fiber, its entrepreneurial community, low cost of living, coffee scene, underground office complexes, scenery and more.
— EDC Kansas City (@EDCKC) October 11, 2017
Stay tuned to startlandnews.com for an update after James’ announcement.