Amazon considering Detroit for second headquarters

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The world's favorite online retail hub is searching for a second home.

Amazon is looking to build a second headquarters somewhere in the U.S.A. - and Detroit is in the running.  FOX 2 heard from some of the main players tonight including a business consultant - who thinks Michigan and Detroit couldn't be in a better position.

"I am amazed at what's going on right now," said Mark Lee, who opened the Lee Group,  his successful Detroit marketing firm in the midst of Michigan's recession, will be the first to tell you this city is in a fantastic position to lure Amazon's second headquarters to the state.

He points to the highly skilled work force, top universities, a first class airport, a million plus in terms of population and of course the amount of vacant land.

"I think Detroit has to put together business case what we have to say to Amazon this is our business case," Lee said. "If you invest in the city, you get the return on the investment may have to talk about some tax abatements."

Lee believes those involved in putting the proposal together must offer incentives especially when you are going up against other high tech competing cities like Chicago, Atlanta and Boston.

"I think as a city we are going to think how to better position ourselves different than a Chicago, compared to Atlanta," Lee said. "We bring the skill-set, we bring the people, we bring the resources and we have a business case."

Mayor Mike Duggan's Media Relations Director John Roach will only say "as to Amazon's request for proposals for a second headquarters, we will be evaluating carefully."

As for Gov. Rick Snyder, he thinks Michigan is perfectly positioned. In a statement he says:

"Not only is Michigan a top-10 state for doing business and attracting 25 to 34 year-olds, our workforce is growing at a higher rate than the national average and we lead the region in inbound migration for those with bachelor's degrees or higher."

Lee, who is also a Crain's Detroit business blogger says it will no doubt take a collaborative effort of state, city and business leaders to bring the retail giant here.  If it happens - the creation of jobs alone will be tremendous for our state.

"Fifty thousand jobs," Lee said. "Think of the economic impact, the high paying jobs. All of sudden people coming back work again. It brings back retail outlets."

Late this evening FOX 2 did receive a statement from Dan Gilbert - he says:

"We have already put together a task force of internal and external people in Detroit to fully explore the opportunity of Amazon's HQ2.  We are very excited and we believe that Detroit will make an extremely strong pitch to Amazon."
 

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