'It would absolutely transform the region' St. Louis officials p - KMOV.com

'It would absolutely transform the region' St. Louis officials pursuing Amazon

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(AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File) (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)

ST. LOUIS (AP/KMOV.com) --  Amazon is on the hunt for a second home.

The e-commerce giant said Thursday that it will spend more than $5 billion to build another headquarters in North America it has dubbed "HQ2." Amazon will stay put in its sprawling Seattle headquarters, and the new space will be "a full equal" with as many as 50,000 jobs, said founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.

St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger said via Twitter on Thursday that he and St. Louis Mayor Krewson are putting together a regional team to make an effort at luring the Seattle-based company to our area.

Amazon says it is looking for eight million square feet of office space and a metropolitan area with more than a million people.

"It would absolutely transform the region," Stenger said. "Eight million square feet of construction, 50,000 jobs, an incredible boost to our economy."

Both St. Louis and Kansas City are vying for consideration, something Governor Eric Greitens has pushed for in his message that Missouri is "open for business."

"We're going to win those competitions and bring those jobs right here to the state," he said. 

Senator Claire McCaskill shared the governor's optimism about Missouri's chances, saying, "Our location is an advantage. We have airports, interstates, rivers that connect us with every part of this country."

 Cities have until next month to apply through a special website, and the company said it will make a final decision next year. Amazon will consider building its own facility, using existing buildings or a combination for HQ2.

It says there would be a five billion dollar capital investment over the initial 15 to 17 years of the project.

Chicago, Austin, Dallas, Denver and Toronto have all been mentioned as candidates along with Missouri and Kansas City. 

Amazon is growing rapidly: In just the last month it announced plans to build three new warehouses in Oregon, New York and Ohio, to pack and ship packages. And it recently paid close to $14 billion to buy organic grocer Whole Foods and its more than 465 stores. The company plans to hire 100,000 people by the middle of next year.

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