Seattle’s neighbor to the south, Tacoma, Wash., formally announced its plans to respond to Amazon’s second headquarters request for proposals today. The Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County confirmed it will respond with a “unified approach for a single South Sound bid” just 35 miles away from Amazon’s original headquarters.
Tacoma made the official announcement in a press release Friday. The announcement confirms what GeekWire reported in early September, based on a conversation with Tacoma Economic Development Director Ricardo Noguera.
“We have property in the heart of downtown which connects very well with the University of Washington’s Tacoma campus that we plan to include,” he said at the time. “We have light rail that runs right by the site that will make it very inviting and not require workers for the future campus to drive a car. We have over 2,000 (housing) units that are going to be developed in our greater downtown area within the next 18 months so that will create an environment where, unlike what you see in South Lake Union, that is very clustered, this will be stretched out maybe within a half mile to mile radius and I believe that we also have the talent here, with several universities and colleges.”
Tacoma’s announcement comes a day after King and Snohomish counties announced their own regional play for Amazon HQ2. King County Executive Dow Constantine said that the proposal doesn’t compete with Pierce County’s. If Amazon picks Tacoma, “we still win” he said.
But both bids are long shots. By selecting a location farther from Amazon’s original home, the company gains access to a new talent pool and has two different locations to offer to new hires. Amazon is planning to create a campus of up to 8 million square feet of office space to house up to 50,000 employees in another North American city.