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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has officially submitted a proposal to Amazon in an effort to convince the online retailer to build its new headquarters in his town. But unlike some other municipalities, Garcetti has opted to keep the city’s hand close to the vest by declining to publicly reveal any substantive details about the proposal.
“Our region has three top-tier research universities that attract world-class talent, and a uniquely dynamic way of life that keeps workers here. We’re investing billions of dollars to create one of the most robust public transportation networks in America. And our leading port and airport give us limitless connectivity to the rest of the world,” Garcetti spokesman Alex Comisar said Thursday in a statement, adding that the proposal was submitted on behalf of the City and the County of Los Angeles with the help of the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation. That the County and City collaborated on the proposal signals that multiple sites are being proposed, believed to be as many as nine, that stretch beyond the borders of the city of L.A. The deadline for the proposals was Thursday.
When Amazon announced that it was seeking proposals for a site to build a second headquarters last month, it set off a nationwide best-foot-forward scramble.
With Thursday’s deadline for proposals, dozens of cities are engaging in some shameless chest-pounding, extolling their local virtues like workforces, climate, public transportation and university systems. They are also pulling together shiny packages of incentives and tax breaks that in some cases reach into the billions of dollars.
Earlier this month, Gov. Jerry Brown laid out the tax breaks and other incentives worth $300 million that Sacramento would be willing to offer in the event that Amazon chooses the Golden State as the site of its second home. Those incentives include tax credits, employment training funding and legislative efforts to streamline the environmental approval process to help speed up construction. The sum offered by Brown, however, pales in comparison to the $7 billion that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie reportedly said his state would be willing to pony up. Whoever does land Amazon’s new $5 billion headquarters could see a spike in employment by as much as 50,000 new jobs, according to some estimates.
According to observers, Los Angeles is a long shot to win the bid on account of its relatively high taxes, soaring housing costs and the fact that Amazon already has a strong foothold on the West Coast. Moody’s did not include L.A. (or any other California municipality, for that matter) in its rankings of the 10 most likely destinations (Austin had the highest ranking).
A spokesman for Amazon declined to comment.
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