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Georgia's Secretive Bid For Amazon HQ2 Could Top $1B

Georgia's Secretive Bid For Amazon HQ2 Could Top $1B
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed talking Atlanta growth and affordability at Bisnow's Midtown + Downtown event

With “nothing left on the table,” Georgia has joined the quest for the biggest economic development race in modern history.

Georgia, with input from the City of Atlanta as well as various metro municipalities, submitted Thursday its bid for Amazon's $5B HQ2 project, a deal that could bring the winning city up to 50,000 high-paying jobs.

Amazon's request for proposals, released last month, set off a national frenzy among economic development groups to lure the holy grail of headquarter deals. City and state officials have been tight-lipped as to the details of the package and the value of incentives. But incentives are expected to top $1B, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

“I have complete confidence in the Governor's ability to lead this effort," Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed told Bisnow via email. "We have worked in a cooperative fashion, and I think when everyone learns about Georgia's proposal, you'll see that we left nothing on the table.” 

“On the city side alone, we put forth more incentives than we’ve ever put forward in the history of the city,” Reed said to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “This is an Olympic moment. … This is a singular moment for Atlanta.”

State officials also did not disclose any sites proposed in the offer, but many expect some of Metro Atlanta's biggest potential development parcels to be part of the proposal, including The Gulch in Downtown Atlanta, the High Street project in Central Perimeter, the Fort McPherson redevelopment and possible sites within Midtown – which has become the coveted submarket among Atlanta's technology elite in recent years.

By many accounts, Atlanta's chances look strong, with the city routinely appearing on lists among the metro areas that best fit Amazon's wish list that would eventually include 8M SF of offices.

But many other cities are also putting in eye-opening incentive packages, including New Jersey's $7B offer and Boston's more than 200-page bid proposal that includes a variety of potential sites.

Now comes the wait. According to Amazon's RFP, it is scheduled to decide on finalists and a winner next year.