MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Amazon announced the search for a second North American headquarters three weeks ago and cities are getting creative hoping to catch the eye of CEO and Miami native Jeff Bezos.
South Florida is putting their name in the hat, as well. On Thursday, commissioners in Miami met to discuss a proposed plan that could bring the online retail giant to our neighborhood.
Mayors from Washington, D.C. to Danbury, Connecticut petitioned “Alexa” to settle down in their towns. Business leaders in Tucson even mailed Bezos a 21-foot cactus. In a tweet, Amazon said they donated it.
“A lot of them are jumping through hoops trying to impress Amazon,” said City of Miami commissioner Ken Russell.
He’s taking the high road. No sweet-talking Alexa, no palm tree presents. Just a proposal. The resolution passed unanimously in a commission meeting Thursday.
So why should the mammoth e-commerce company consider South Florida for its new headquarters?
“The incoming Brightline train station, the Miami Central Station, students coming out of universities and colleges,” said President of the Miami-Dade Beacon Council Michael Finney.
The Beacon Council is creating the plan and will take in the commissioners’ input. The deadline to get it on the desk of Mr. Bezos is October 19th.
“This is a transformative project,” said Finney. “There’s nothing of it’s scale in the Miami-Dade area.”
And the literal scale is massive. Just where would a building that would house 50,000 employees go?
“If you got right to the core of downtown, where Miami Central Station will be, you have Omni CRA (Community Redevelopment Agency) and Overtown CRA,” said Commissioner Russell. “There’s significant land in that area.”
Roughly $5 billion will be invested in the city and it could also mean more companies coming to South Florida.
“We are likely to see other tech companies. This will certainly accelerate it,” said Russell. “This would change everything here.”
Amazon is already investing in South Florida, as the company recently announced plans to build a facility at the Opa-locka Airport, bringing about a thousand jobs along with it.