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Why Arlington dropped bid for Amazon HQ2

🕐 2 min read

To view Arlington’s proposal:

www.arlington-tx.gov/news/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2018/05/Site-Presentation.pdf

The city of Arlington says it’s “no longer moving forward” in the competition to become Amazon’s second headquarters, and released details of the incentives it offered the online retailer.

Arlington said May 15 it had been “one of the very select finalists in North Texas asked by Amazon to make an in-person pitch to company executives and provide a site visit for our proposed HQ2 site.” But it said it was no longer involved.

“We realize we are no longer a focus in the HQ2 selection process,” city spokeswoman Susan Schrock said in an email.

CNNMoney reported that other cities in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area appear to remain under consideration.

Arlington’s pitch was included in the proposal for the Dallas-Fort Worth region, which included many area sites. Arlington says it “remains very supportive” of the region’s ongoing effort to land the headquarters.

“We were enthused that our vision for HQ2 caught the attention of Amazon,” said City Manager Trey Yelverton. “The company created a thoughtful selection process. You could clearly see the value Amazon places on community partnerships as well as on the welfare of its employees, the ability to attract and retain qualified workers, and the impact HQ2 would have on the culture of the community.”

Amazon had set off the competition last year, and made clear that tax breaks and grants would be a big factor in its decision. In January it released a list of 20 areas still in the running for the $5 billion project that could employ up to 50,000 people. Seattle-based Amazon.com didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

Arlington offered incentives estimated at $921 million, including a 10-year property tax abatement and a grant for the hiring of Arlington residents. The city proposed the 200-plus-acre Globe Life Park, soon-to-be-former home of the Texas Rangers baseball team, as the potential site. The team will move into a new stadium in 2020.

The city said its 10-year economic model indicated the project could bring more than 96,000 permanent jobs, almost $50 billion in salaries and wages and almost $4 billion in taxable sales.

“We’re extremely confident that Globe Life Park will find a new life and continue to be a vibrant component of our world-class Entertainment District and anchor our future Central Business District,” said Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams. “The interest by Amazon and its executives strongly confirms that this site has great economic development potential. It is primed for a continued substantive commercial presence in Arlington. We couldn’t be more excited about its future and the future of our Entertainment District.”

Williams told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that Amazon was looking for a different environment.

“I think it was looking for a more downtown, urban environment but it intrigued them very much that they could come in here and build a downtown right here,” he said.

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