Rhode Island launches bid for new Amazon headquarters

By: Bianca Buono

Email: bbuono@abc6.com

Twitter: @BBuonoABC6

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation has launched a statewide bid for the coveted new Amazon headquarters. Rhode Island joins the likes of more than a hundred other cities across the country.

Amazon says it will invest $5 billion and add around 50,000 jobs in whichever city it chooses.

Rhode Island took a different approach with its bid. Instead of having each city submit an independent bid, the Commerce Corporation submitted one coordinated statewide bid. In it, several possible locations for the headquarters are listed: Providence, Pawtucket-Central Falls, East Providence, Warwick, North Kingstown, Richmond, and Woonsocket.

A spokesman for the Commerce Corporation says they will not be releasing certain details of the bid. That includes what, if any, tax breaks are being offered to Amazon.

Rhode Island is now competing with several major cities, including Boston. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh says they will not be offering the company incentives, saying the city’s biggest selling point is easy access to some of the most sought after talent and universities in the world.

Rhode Island Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor issued the following statement regarding the state’s proposal:

The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation today is submitting a proposal for Amazon’s HQ2 on behalf of the State of Rhode Island, its municipalities, and the Partnership for Rhode Island. The proposal includes sites in our capital city as well as across the Ocean State. Our application package lays out the partnerships, business climate, quality of life and incentives that make Rhode Island attractive – and make our proposal competitive.

We are posting our website, which was created for this purpose, as well as releasing a list of submitted locations and key renderings. We will not be publicly releasing the detailed materials that are subject to negotiation.

Rhode Island universities collaborate frequently and we are grateful to them for coming together on one of the key initiatives in this proposal: ‘Amazon Academy.’ We envision Amazon employees obtaining the professional development and continuing education they need to advance Amazon’s goals through this initiative. The Academy will braid together offerings from Rhode Island’s colleges and universities and will serve as a one-stop-shop for Amazon employees to access programming that is tailored to the company.

We want to thank our partners across state government, the Partnership for Rhode Island, municipal leaders, Chambers of Commerce and the business community for cooperation and collaboration in compiling this proposal.

Amazon will announce the winning city sometime next year.

©WLNE-TV / ABC6 2017