Posted Sep. 8, 2017 at 7:55 a.m.

NC economic development officials stay mum on Amazon HQ2

Published: 2017-09-08 07:55:48
Updated: 2017-09-08 07:55:48


NC Commerce Secretary Tony Copeland and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina are staying mum about the mammoth Amazon HQ2 project, although Copeland says "North Carolina has a great story to tell."

However, the Research Triangle Foundation, which oversees RTP, already is working on a proposal to present to Amazon. And the Research Triangle Regional Partnership also is excited about the project.

WRAL TechWire reached out to Commerce and the private-public EDPNC for comment after news broke early Thursday that Amazon was seeking proposals for a second headquarters. The ecommerce giant says the project will be worth $5 billion and create as many as 50,000 jobs.

"North Carolina has a great story to tell, and rest assured we tell it to companies all the time, but we do not comment on these conversations until an announcement of a site decision has been publicly released," Copeland said.

He pointed out that the department and and Gov. Roy Cooper talk economic development "every day" with companies, stressing "advantages North Carolina offers."

"We relentlessly pursue every opportunity to bring new jobs to the state, and every day we respond to requests for proposals - from those big transformative projects that grab headlines to the many projects you don’t hear about beforehand," Copeland added.

Amazon has requested proposals from interested locations with a deadline of Oct. 19.

“This is precisely the kind of opportunity that the Research Triangle Regional Partnership was developed to pursue – our 11 member counties are prepared to work together to educate Amazon on the myriad benefits our growing region offers," Ryan Combs, the recently hired executive director of the Research Triangle Regional Partnership, told WRAL TechWire.

Earlier Thursday, Michael Pittman, vice president of marketing and communications for the Foundation, said the RTF is wasting no time in responding.

"A]s soon as we saw this opportunity we picked up the phone and reached out to our partners," Pittman said.

"We are already working on a response."

A site decision is expected to be announced by Amazon next year.

The General Assembly has passed legislation designed to help the state lure a megasite development, such as an auto plant. A "transformative project" as described in the state budget could be worth millions in tax incentives and rebates.

"North Carolina has been making the necessary investments for our future success," Copeland pointed out. 

"These investments include work at our megasites, but it also includes investments like Commerce's rural grants that support small business job growth. People should know we work to bring jobs to all 100 counties in the state."

The EDPNC spokesperson said "we generally do not comment on companies we may be pursuing for expansion opportunities in the state. I'm sure you understand the competitive and confidential nature of such discussions."


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