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San Antonio
The River Walk in San Antonio, Texas. (Flickr Photo / @PedroSzekely)

No cactus. No plans to rename a city. No crazy stunts or corporate tax breaks or promises they wouldn’t be able to keep.

And no Amazon.

Officials from San Antonio sent a letter to Jeff Bezos on Wednesday letting the Amazon CEO know that the Texas city will not be submitting a formal proposal to the Seattle-based tech giant to land its second headquarters location.

“”It’s not that we wouldn’t love to have Amazon select Santonio. Any city would,” wrote Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff and San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg. “If Amazon follow the approach it took in Seattle by building a massive urban campus to support 50,000 employees, the company’s impact could accelerate our plans in a transformative way.”

But despite being impressed by Amazon and its “bold view of the future,” the officials said that “blindly giving away the farm isn’t our style.” While confident that San Antonio could meet many of the criteria Amazon is looking for in a second home, the officials admit that the city of 1.4 million people would have work to do to jump to the top of the list of competing cities.

“It’s hard to imagine that a forward-thinking company like Amazon hasn’t already selected its preferred location,” Nirenberg and Wolff wrote. “And if that’s the case, then this public process is, intentionally or not, creating a bidding war amongst states and cities.”

That sentiment was echoed in comments made by other officials in a story published by the San Antonio Express-News newspaper.

“Amazon is a very brilliant company for no other reason that they know that every city will fall over themselves to give the company what it needs because it’s a huge prize,” District 4 Councilman Rey Saldaña said. “I suspect the company already knew where they were going before they made the announcement.”

But Bexar County Commissioner Tommy Calvert told the newspaper that not pursuing Amazon is “a big mistake.”

“It’s almost like we’re trying to be second-tier,” Calvert said. “We’re not even the little engine that could. We couldn’t even be the Jamaican bobsled team. To be honest, we’re fourth-tier.”

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