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Press Release

Greater Portland region submits proposal for Amazon’s second headquarters

October 19,2017 | By Janet LaBar
Click here to download the Regional Value Proposition, and be sure to read the FAQ below.

Today Greater Portland Inc (GPI), the region’s public/private economic development organization, and its partners submitted a proposal in pursuit of Amazon’s second headquarters. Sites for consideration were proposed by the Oregon cities of Beaverton, Milwaukie and Portland; and by Clark County, Washington. A regional distributed campus concept, making use of sites in all four locations, was also included.
 
In its request for proposals, Amazon identified key preferences and decision drivers such as suitable buildings and sites, labor force, logistics (travel time) and quality of life.
 
Greater Portland’s proposal touts the strength of the region’s workforce, comprised of a pipeline of students at universities and community colleges, as well as a healthy influx of highly educated talent. Greater Portland leads markets like Seattle, San Jose, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, and others in domestic net-migration of those 25 years or older with a bachelor’s degree or higher.
 
“We're the 24th-largest metro area nationwide with one of the highest percentages of college graduates,” said GPI Board Chairman Wally Van Valkenburg. “We effectively meet Amazon's key criteria of attracting and retaining strong technical talent."
 
Logistics and connectivity are market characteristics also sought by Amazon, and both multi-modal transportation and daily nonstop domestic and international flights were highlighted in the regional proposal. The multi-site distributed campus concept leverages this connectivity.
 
GPI invited communities within the region to identify site options based on Amazon’s HQ2 criteria. Beaverton, Clark County, Milwaukie and Portland responded with options and have worked diligently in the last five weeks to develop their respective site-specific proposals. The submitted sites showcase that this region is willing, ready and able to partner with a developer, or employer, of Amazon’s scale. AECOM, a premier, fully integrated global infrastructure firm, was tapped to help develop the proposal and collaborate with GPI to design the distributed campus concept. Core economic development players including Business Oregon, Columbia River Economic Development Council, Columbia Willamette Workforce Collaborative, GPI’s Higher Education Committee and Portland General Electric all contributed to the regional proposal.
 
“GPI and our partners have made a very compelling case for Amazon HQ2,” said Janet LaBar, GPI president and CEO. “More than anything, this project has tested the region’s ability to cooperate, think big and clearly state values that are important to our community. Already, this is a win for Greater Portland.”

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQS)
 
Q | What sites are presented to Amazon in the region’s pitch?
 
A | GPI invited communities within the region to identify site options based on Amazon’s HQ2 criteria. Four communities (Beaverton, Clark County, Milwaukie and Portland) responded and each has identified at least one site that can accommodate Amazon’s HQ2 requirements. The disclosure of specific site details is at the discretion of the local jurisdictions. GPI will not publicly comment on the site options proposed by the four communities. The multi-site distributed campus model is presented by GPI and AECOM as another HQ2 option for consideration.
 
Q | Where can I find the complete proposal?
 
A | Due to the confidentiality of specific site information within the proposal, GPI cannot release it in full. The Executive Summary outlining why Greater Portland is a great fit for Amazon HQ2 will be made available Friday, October 20 at greaterportlandinc.com/amazonhq2.
 
Q | Are incentives offered?
 
A | No formal incentives have been offered to Amazon. A partial listing of existing state, local and institutional programs and incentives, as well as the qualifying criteria, was included in the proposal.
 
Q | Did you talk to Amazon prior to submitting?
 
A | No. Follow-up questions regarding the company’s request for proposals (RFP) were submitted through the email address that Amazon provided.
 
Q | What do you think Amazon will find most attractive about the proposal?
 
A | Site selection, generally, takes into consideration a number of factors, and while the process for Amazon HQ2 was unique, the decision-making process will still be complex. GPI is confident that the regional value proposition of talent + quality of life + connectivity + business ecosystem is compelling, and this combination of regional strengths is largely unmatched by any other U.S. metro.
 
Q | What’s the next step now that the proposal has been submitted?
 
A | GPI will do what we normally do on behalf of our partners: communicate regularly and build the relationship with the company. In addition, the coordination of networks, partners and resources cannot be underscored enough. Technically, Amazon has stated a final site selection and announcement timeframe of 2018. At a minimum, there are 8.5 weeks of staying in front of this project. If Greater Portland has convinced Amazon that our region should be shortlisted for HQ2, we’ll celebrate and get right back to work.
 
Q | Can we help?
 
A | Yes! Turn on the creative spigot, and give GPI a shout. We and our partners welcome your ideas, resources and existing relationships with Amazon to continue to tell Greater Portland’s story.
 

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