Today we learned that Newark has made the short list of 20 cities throughout the country that are still in the running to host Amazon's new Headquarters. A total of 238 applications were submitted from cities throughout North America, 6 of which were from New Jersey. Newark, however, was the only NJ city to be accepted into the 2nd round of the selection process.
Newark's bid came with huge backing from both the State and City. Former Gov. Christie announced in October that the state would make up $5 billion in tax incentives available. The City of Newark also committed to a $2 billion city property tax and wage tax waiver for Amazon to open it's doors here.
Sound like a big commitment? It is. But consider this: Since Amazon was first created in 1994, it has employed more than 40,000 people in Seattle, where it's primary headquarters are located. It has been estimated that Amazon’s investments since 2010 have brought a staggering $38 billion into the city’s economy. This includes $4 billion dollars worth of real estate development and commercial office space that will stand in the city for hundreds of years.
Now, the company plans to invest another $5 billion in development and create up to 50,000 jobs wherever it builds its newest hub. So why not Newark? "There is a story that Amazon could tell about how they were a part of expediting a city’s growth," Mayor Baraka said earlier today. "A city that is like a phoenix in a fire and continues to move forward despite all the obstacles. Amazon gets to come here and expedite that, fashioning and forming a story of a city 50 years in the making.”
Can you image the kind of economic impact of having one of the largest - if not THE largest - company in the world setting up it's HQ right in our backyard? My fingers are crossed!
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