Unified Regional Bid Proposes Both Sides of the Mississippi River
Today, leaders submitted a unified regional bid for Amazon’s second headquarters — known as HQ2. The proposed site spans both sides of the Mississippi River and delivers on Amazon’s specifications — urban, vibrant, connected to light rail and in a region ready to deliver the tech workforce they will need.
The proposed site is the St. Louis Riverfront on both sides of the Mississippi and the Central Business District in downtown. The bid was delivered to Amazon corporate headquarters this morning.
St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger, St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern, Express Scripts Chairman George Paz, World Wide Technology Chairman & Founder David Steward and Washington University Chancellor Mark Wrighton submitted the bid on behalf of the entire region, which included cover letters by both Governor Bruce Rauner of Illinois and Governor Eric Greitens of Missouri.
“We feel confident we’ve assembled the most attractive proposal Amazon is going to receive,” St. Louis Economic Development Partnership CEO Sheila Sweeney said. “It shines a spotlight on all of the tremendous assets St. Louis has to offer. We tick all of the boxes for Amazon’s HQ2 — a strong workforce, urban site availability, mass transit and a great cost of living. Not to mention we over deliver on cultural amenities and easy commutes. I can’t wait for Amazon executives to see what’s possible in St. Louis and consider us for their next home.”
The bid centers on the region’s ability on “Day One” to deliver a blueprint to Amazon including fresh ideas to build the nation’s new tech workforce.
“Our region is producing exceptional talent, but we have fresh ideas from our tech and higher education leaders on how to dramatically increase this flow of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) students from the earliest ages,” Stenger said. “If we ignite the imaginations and potential of our youngest students, some of whom have been passed over for generations, we spark a revolution in education, inclusion and a new day in the global workforce.”
Details of the bid will remain confidential. There is a non-disclosure agreement between the state and local government entities and Amazon.
“Leaders have come together on a very tight deadline to develop an exceptional proposal with a site in the central business district and both sides of our riverfront,” Krewson said. “It is the site that most closely fits Amazon’s requirements spelled out in the request for proposals. I have never seen this type of collaboration come together, not only in St. Louis, but on the Illinois side of St. Louis as well. It has been impressive.”
The regional effort is supported by St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann, Madison County Board Chair Kurt Prenzler, Jefferson County Executive Ken Waller, Franklin County Presiding Commissioner John Greisheimer and East St. Louis Mayor Emeka Jackson-Hicks.
“We have a very important agreement with Amazon not to share details of this proposal publicly, which I hope that everyone understands,” Kern said. “But the important part is that we are working together. This is the first time I can remember Missouri and Illinois working in unison on a Mississippi River development project. That is a big first. It’s a visionary proposal.”