The request for proposal can wait.
Kansas City Mayor Sly James is delivering Amazon 1,000 reasons to build its second headquarters in the City of Fountains via a host of product reviews on the online retailer’s site. A label maker, flashlight and fishing net were among the items James reviewed to promote various aspects of Kansas City to the tech giant. Amazon announced in September it was accepting proposals for a new $5 billion headquarters that will create around 50,000 high-paying jobs.
The campaign is being dubbed #KC5stars.
The mayor touted the city’s entrepreneurial community, low cost of living, coffee scene, underground office complexes, access to Google Fiber and more in the reviews.
“I live in beautiful Kansas City where the average home price is just $122K, so I know luxe living doesn’t have to cost a ton,” James wrote of a $15 set of windchimes. They have a soothing timbre, a stylish look, a durable aluminum construction, and they catch the wind just as beautifully as far more expensive models. I’ll tell you, when I’m sitting out in the backyard of my reasonably priced home in a safe neighborhood with great schools and these chimes start to tinkle, it feels like the whole world is singing just for me.”
— Mayor Sly James (@MayorSlyJames) October 11, 2017
The reviews are a part of the Kansas City Area Development Council-led effort to entice Amazon. The Economic Development Corporation Kansas City, KC Tech Council and Mayor’s Office are also helping with the initiative.
In one particular review of a DYMO Handheld Label Maker, James dished kudos to the area’s blossoming entrepreneurial community.
“I can’t think of anything more crucial to starting a business than having one of these bad boys on hand,” he wrote. “About the only thing more important than professional-quality labeling to the long-term prosperity of your startup might just be the city you build it in, and Kansas City is one of the best. In fact, in the last five years, Kansas City’s first-time employers have created 84,000 new jobs, accounting for 65% of all new jobs in the region!!!! … KC is DYMO-mite!”
The 1,000 items will be donated to charity, the Mayor’s Office said in an announcement.
Kansas City isn’t the only city to try employ attention-grabbing tactics to woo Amazon. For example, 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.
In its RFP, Amazon said it has a preference for:
- A metro area 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
U.S. and Canadian cities have until Oct. 19 to respond to the RFP.