Is St. Louis a real contender to land Amazon’s HQ2? - KMOV.com

Is St. Louis a real contender to land Amazon’s HQ2?

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Downtown St. Louis seen from Skyzoom4 (Credit: Zach Dalin, KMOV) Downtown St. Louis seen from Skyzoom4 (Credit: Zach Dalin, KMOV)

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- St. Louis is one of the numerous cities competing for Amazon’s second headquarters and the billions of dollars of investment and up to 50,000 jobs that some say will come with it.

Search Amazon HQ2 online and there's no shortage of competition; cities from Toledo to Tuscon and just about every city in between are working to win the Amazon sweepstakes.

Does the St. Louis region have a shot?  The New York Times doesn't think so - their money is on Denver.
The Brookings Institute based in Washington, D.C. doesn't put us in the top 20 contenders. But, on paper St. Louis appears to meet the criteria Amazon wants.

  • A region of more than a million - check
  • Mass transit - check 
  • A stable - business-friendly environment? John Boyd, who runs the Boyd company, a business that helps big companies like Boeing and Chevron find cities to relocate to regards Missouri as a “pro-business state.” – Sounds like another check.

Take Amazon out of the equation for a moment, Boyd says St. Louis is getting looks nationally from other players.  

“St. Louis is hot right now,” Boyd said. “There is a renewed interest in St. Louis. Companies are aware of it it is an exciting time for job creators in that market.”

But when it comes to Amazon; Boyd believes the winner will be east of the Mississippi - somewhere close to Washington D.C., so the company can lobby lawmakers. But, if Amazon focuses on the Midwest, Boyd believes St. Louis will be on their radar.

St. Louis Business Journal reporter Brian Feldt also gives St. Louis small odds based on the number of regions competing.  And despite the nationwide search, he believes Amazon insiders already have a pre-determined location in mind.

“If you think about it like a free agent in baseball they may hit the market - they have two or three cities they want to play in - they are going to test the market to see who makes the best case,” Feldt said.

“One of the selling points is you can tap into Illinois' sizeable congressional delegation,” John Boyd said, who added Missouri and Illinois could be a powerful force when it comes to attracting headquarters.  “Regionalism is the new trend in economic development.”

“I don't think anybody knows but if you look at what we have to offer from corporate community to our logistics base and talent innovation abilities - we have a fantastic chance,” said Aaron Perlut, who runs the marketing firm Elasticity. He’s working with St. Louis leaders to bring Amazon to town.

As far as Missouri and Illinois working together; St. Louis County officials are talking with St. Clair County, Illinois officials on their bid. Governor Greitens’ staff confirmed they are talking with Illinois – and Kansas – to assist Kansas City’s bid.

The bids are due by Thursday.

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