Long Beach, Huntington Beach Team Up For “Amazon Coast” Bid For Tech Giant’s New Headquarters

amazoncoast

Long Beach and Huntington Beach will deliver their proposal for "Amazon Coast" Thursday in their bid to secure the second Amazon headquarters. 

The cities of Long Beach and Huntington Beach have officially cast their names into the lot of other municipalities clamoring to become the home of tech-giant Amazon’s second headquarters.

The race for Amazon’s HQ2 was set off when the Seattle-based conglomerate announced in early September that it was looking for a suitor for its expansion with some basic, but lofty requirements. It was seeking a metro-area city with access to major highways, direct access to rail, subway and bus routes and within 45 minutes of an international airport. Cities had until Thursday October 18 to submit their RFP.

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Mayor Robert Garcia wasted little time in extending salutations to the corporation after the September 7 announcement. 

In a statement issued Wednesday, Garcia said that Amazon would be a great addition to this vibrant city, his hometown of two decades.

“Long Beach has a vibrant downtown on the water, a Metro rail connection to Downtown Los Angeles, an airport, one of the world’s busiest and greenest ports, a great public school system, and the best people and workforce anywhere,” Garcia said. “I’ve called this beautiful city home for 20 years, and I’m proud that it’s a place where people from all walks of life and every corner of the globe call home. We would love to share our city with Amazon, whose presence would enrich the tapestry of Long Beach."

In the dual proposal, the two beach cities are proposing a partnership that would split a potential HQ2 into three sites, two in Long Beach and one in Huntington Beach. The 164-acre Huntington “Sand Campus” location would be located at the existing Boeing facility on Bolsa Avenue while the Long Beach locations would be split between the “Sea Campus” at 1 World Trade Center and the “Air Campus” at the Boeing C-17 site near Long Beach Airport.

In total, the proposed locations would total just over 7 million square feet, about 1 million square feet less than the square footage ceiling requested by Amazon. The Seattle campus consists of 33 buildings and is 8.1 million square feet with HQ2 expected to be a “full equal” to the current campus in the Pacific Northwest.

And Amazon projects that in keeping with its “full equal” projection that around 50,000 high-paying jobs will be brought to whichever city wins the HQ2 lottery. On its proposal page, Amazon touts some $38 billion in investments for Seattle since 2010.

While Long Beach lacks an international airport, both John Wayne Airport and Los Angeles International Airport could provide flights out of the country for Amazon’s operations. The bid also touts Long Beach’s access to its port complex and an “extraordinary” amount of local talent as a trifecta that could provide stability, balance and strength for the company.

The cities released a trailer starring comedian Kevin Pollack where the port, beach and access to the surrounding airports are showcased as a delivery driver picks up a shipment at the port and delivers it to Huntington Beach.

“Every operation needs a long-term view,” Pollack says as the screen cuts to a view of the Queen Mary. “And this, is a hell of a view.”

The Amazon box is then quickly loaded onto a HBLB branded Amazon drone before cutting to a shot of the ocean with text reading “Welcome to Amazon Coast”. The video was uploaded to Twitch.tv, a subsidiary of Amazon.

While cities are chomping at the bit to secure HQ2 for their own, Seattle and the impacts that Amazon’s current headquarters has had on its city could provide a cautionary tale. Multiple reports from National Public Radio, the New York Times and The Washington Post, which is owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, have detailed the traffic congestion and skyrocketing housing prices that have resulted from the influx of tens of thousands of workers at the Amazon campus.

Both issues have already taken hold in Long Beach as historically low vacancy rates have already led to increasing rents and community members have come out en masse to fight the city’s land use element and it’s proposed density increases claiming that it would snarl traffic in the city, one that already has areas with severely impacted parking.

The cities plan to deliver their proposal Thursday, one that will be accompanied by a custom made HBLB surfboard.



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