County to release joint plan for attracting Amazon’s HQ2

The business group Economic Alliance Snohomish County has been leading a combined approach.

County to release joint plan for attracting Amazon’s HQ2

EVERETT — Snohomish County and other area governments expect to unveil a joint plan Thursday for attracting Amazon’s second headquarters.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos touched off a frenzy across North America last month with a surprise announcement that his company hopes to establish an HQ2 as “a full equal” to its Seattle home base.

The business group Economic Alliance Snohomish County has been leading a combined approach by the county, Bothell, Everett and other area governments. In all, people from nine area governments have been involved in crafting the local proposal.

“We’ve been working on this for the past several weeks,” said Patrick Pierce, the Alliance’s CEO.

Amazon’s ideal location would be within 30 miles of a metropolitan area with more than a million people and within 45 minutes of an international airport. The company wants an educated labor pool and a strong university system nearby.

It wants to start with at least 500,000 square feet of building space and possibly expand to as much as 8 million square feet by 2027, making it roughly the size of the Seattle campus. The company is seeking tax breaks, grants and other incentives.

Applications are due Oct. 19.

“We want to be able to tell the story about how we’re going to move forward as a region on this,” Snohomish County spokesman Kent Patton said.

With the likes of Boston, Chicago and New York also in the hunt, the chances of landing anything in Snohomish County might be slim, all the more so given the proximity to Amazon’s existing control center. A solid application, however, might help lure smaller pieces of the Amazon empire or other innovative companies looking for a home.

Amazon’s Seattle footprint includes about 50,000 workers spread throughout 33 buildings, many of them in the South Lake Union area.

Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465; nhaglund@herald net.com. Twitter:@NWhaglund.

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