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Twin Saults proposed as Amazon's second headquarters

$5 billion in construction. Up to 50,000 direct employment
Amazon's current global headquarters in Seattle is based in 33 buildings, many in the South Lake Union neighborhood, shown in this detail from a panoramic photo by Dllu, Wikimedia Commons
The following resolution has been placed on the agenda of Monday's meeting of Sault Ste. Marie (Ontario) City Council by Ward 3 Councillor Matthew Shoemaker and Ward 6 Councillor Ozzie Grandinetti.
The councillors are proposing that Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. and Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. consider a joint bid to host Amazon’s second headquarters.
Amazon is the largest web-based retailer in the world, as measured by total sales and market capitalization.
An Amazon announcement of its expansion plans earlier this month has prompted a bidding war among Canadian and U.S. cities anxious to host the new headquarters project, tentatively know as HQ2.
"We expect to invest over $5 billion in construction and grow our second headquarters location to be a full equal to Amazon’s current campus in Seattle, creating as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs," the company said.
"In addition to Amazon’s direct hiring and investment, construction and operation of Amazon HQ2 is expected to create tens of thousands of additional jobs and tens of billions of dollars in additional investment in the surrounding community."
Monday's City Council meeting will be livestreamed on SooToday starting at 4:30 p.m.
Amazon's second headquarters
Mover: Councillor M. Shoemaker
Seconder: Councillor O. Grandinetti
Whereas Amazon is looking to establish a second headquarters in North America and has put out a request for proposals for interested parties to consider; and
Whereas Amazon has listed the following criteria as some of the ideal criteria for the development of their second headquarters:
  • proximity to population centres
  • proximity to international airport
  • proximity to major highways
  • access to mass transit
  • up to 100+ acres of greenfields
  • access to labour
  • quality of life; and
Whereas Sault Ste. Marie is within a one-hour flight of international airports in both Toronto and Detroit; and
Whereas Sault Ste. Marie is also within a one-hour flight of large population centres such as Toronto and Detroit; and
Whereas Sault Ste. Marie has easy access to both the Canadian and American markets through its proximity to both the Trans Canada Highway and the U.S. interstate system, specifically, I-75 which runs along the entire length of the continental United States, as well as access to the entire northeast and midwest markets through Great Lakes shipping, and access to both the Canadian and US rail systems; and
Whereas public transit is readily available or could be made readily available for any location in Sault Ste. Marie; and
Whereas Sault Ste. Marie has many options for potential sites that could house a 500,000-square-foot building; and
Whereas working with Sault College, Algoma University and Lake Superior State University, the labour market for the required work force could be ready for whatever Amazon’s needs were; and

Whereas the quality of life in Sault Ste. Marie is second to none, including access to recreational activities such as hiking, fishing, boating, camping, skiing, cross-border shopping, easy access to any destination in the world through the Sault Ste. Marie Airport and the Chippewa County Airport; and

Whereas Sault Ste. Marie has not faced the severe weather and unpredictability faced elsewhere by communities elsewhere in the southern and eastern United States;
Now therefore be it resolved that staff, in conjunction with the Economic Development Corp., review Amazon’s request for proposal documents for a second headquarters and submit a proposal to Amazon for Sault Ste. Marie to be the host city for their project; and
Further be it resolved that should staff consider it appropriate, that Sault Ste. Marie Ontario and Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan consider making a joint bid to be sister-hosts for Amazon’s second headquarters.

David Helwig

About the Author: David Helwig

David Helwig's journalism career spans six decades beginning in the 1960s. His work has been recognized with national and international awards.
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