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

(AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)

Amazon is searching for a location for its second headquarters. It would be a $5 billion win and a game changer for any city.

East St. Louis leaders plan to enter the fierce, nationwide competition. They also hope the region will support their mission.

“I’m hoping everyone will get behind us versus compete because I do think you need to pick one location and then really sell,” said City Manager Daffney Moore.

Moore said East St. Louis is an ideal location for Amazon because they have lots of land, access to many modes of transportation (including water) and diversity.

“We have land everywhere around the riverfront,” said Moore. “We’re accessible to airports, you have the highway access and I think it would be instrumental in changing the region not only for us but St. Clair County, Madison, the city of St. Louis and St. Louis County and would even reach into St. Charles,” added Moore.

They also have MetroLink and the option for a port to be built.

People who live in East St. Louis think recruiting the company could be life-changing for residents.

“We really need jobs, we really need productive things for our citizens to engage in and just face it, if there were less unemployment then maybe crime would be down some,” said Jade Dillard-Hunter.

City Manager Moore said she has been talking with St. Clair County about them supporting the city’s bid and is hoping the region will follow.

She’s also been reaching out to local and other universities that have shown interest in helping create the city’s proposal.

Moore said everyone should be in support of East St. Louis landing this size project because if they succeed it helps the region.

“If East St. Louis doesn’t grow this region doesn’t grow and we have to start thinking regionally because we are competing on a global level,” said Moore.

Amazon’s deadline for proposals is October 19. It plans to make its final selection in 2018.

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