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LVEDC to Pitch Lehigh Valley for Second Amazon Headquarters Location

By Colin McEvoy on September 11, 2017

The Amazon campus in Seattle. The Internet retailer is currently seeking proposals for a second headquarters. (photo courtesy Amazon)

The Amazon campus in Seattle. The Internet retailer is currently seeking proposals for a second headquarters. (photo courtesy Amazon)

The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) will be bidding for the Lehigh Valley to become the location for a second headquarters planned by Amazon.

The nation’s largest Internet-based retailer has put out a call for proposals for a second headquarters that will be a “full equal” to its current campus in Seattle, which totals 33 buildings and 8.1 million square feet, and employs more than 40,000 people.

LVEDC is in the process of reviewing possible sites for the project and preparing a response to Amazon’s Request for Proposal (RFP) to meet the company’s mid-October deadline, according to LVEDC President and CEO Don Cunningham.

Amazon is accepting proposals from only cities or regional development organizations in North America. Any municipalities or developers who wish to make LVEDC aware of possible sites should contact LVEDC by reaching out Matthew Tuerk, LVEDC Vice President of Economic Development, at 610-266-2216 or mtuerk@lehighvalley.org.

“We have a good handle on available locations and sites in Lehigh and Northampton counties through our property database and GIS maps,” Cunningham said. “But, if there’s a developer or government out there that thinks they have a site that can accommodate the Amazon requirement they should contact us for consideration.”

Cunningham plans to meet with Amazon officials when he visits Seattle later this month during the Site Selectors Guild’s 2017 Fall Forum.

“The competition for this prospect will be fierce,” Cunningham said, “but there is no reason that the Lehigh Valley shouldn’t compete for it. With our economic assets, quality of life and location we would make a perfect additional home for Amazon’s offices.”

The Lehigh Valley is a prime location for this headquarters, Cunningham said, due to the region’s central location, proximity to markets, well-developed infrastructure, available land, strong workforce, and other economic factors.

These are among the factors that have put the region in front of mind in the rapidly growing e-commerce industry in recent years, including a significant presence by Amazon itself. The Lehigh Valley industrial market ranked second globally for growth over the past year, according to CBRE, behind only Seattle.

“Although some of the criteria in Amazon’s RFP are better suited to a larger metropolitan area, we’re certain that Amazon will find that our many economic assets make the Lehigh Valley an excellent location,” Cunningham said.

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