Leaders at the Research Triangle Foundation wasted no time when news broke before dawn that Amazon was shopping for a second headquarters worth $5 billion and 50,000 jobs. They are already working on a proposal and lining up partners.
“We think RTP is the perfect place for a new Amazon headquarters; we’ll be working with our Economic Development Partners in Wake and Durham Counties to put together a proposal in the coming weeks,” says Michael Pittman, vice president of marketing and communications for the Foundation, which oversees RTP management and development.
“We were not aware of this project, but what a wonderful surprise to hear about it this morning, and what a great opportunity.”
The Foundation declares at its website: “We are dreamers, believers, planners and creators.”
And now they are dreaming and working to land Amazon HQ2.
“A]s soon as we saw this opportunity we picked up the phone and reached out to our partners,” Pittman tells WRAL TechWire.
“We are already working on a response.”
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Amazon posted the HQ2 request-for-proposal early Thursday, triggering headlines around the country. And the ecommerce giant is moving quickly, wanting RFP responses by Oct. 19 with a decision to be announced next year.
“When an industry leader like Amazon says they are looking for a second headquarters to house up to 50,000 employees, that RFP quickly becomes a top priority,” We think RTP would be the perfect solution for Amazon. We are very interested and are working with our regional Economic Development Partners to put together a compelling proposal.
Despite the scale of the project, which basically would match the number of employees already working at 200 companies in the Park, Pittman says when asked if the Triangle could handle it:
“We have land and space ready for Amazon now.
“We also have a great regional transit plan in the works.
“Most of all, we have the talent here for Amazon—50% of our population has bachelor degrees and the great universities around us are pumping out 10,000 new grads a year.”
RTP’s unfolding master plan also aligns well with Amazon’s wants.
Asked if such a project fit with the new master plan, he declares:
“Our Master Plan calls for several areas within the park to be more densely developed with more amenities. These areas could easily support an Amazon headquarters and several million square feet of office space, as well as residential and retail.”
So is the Foundation all in on winning Amazon HQ2?
You can guess the answer.