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BC government announces official support for Vancouver's Amazon HQ2 bid

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Kenneth Chan Sep 29, 2017 11:40 am

The provincial government is officially backing Metro Vancouver’s bid to become the home of Amazon’s second headquarters.

Earlier today at the Union of BC Municipalities convention held at the Vancouver Convention Centre, Premier John Horgan announced a $50,000 funding commitment to assist the municipalities of Vancouver and Surrey with their joint regional bid.

“BC offers unlimited possibilities for tech companies like Amazon. We have a fast-growing tech sector and several U.S. companies, such as Microsoft, Electronic Arts and Sony Imageworks, have already established a presence here because of the talent base that B.C. offers,” said Horgan in a stataement.

“Amazon HQ2 is an opportunity to create thousands of well-paying jobs for the people of B.C., which will greatly benefit our communities and the tech sector and create spin-off benefits for related industries.”

The Vancouver Economic Commission, an agency of the City of Vancouver, is leading the bid process, and a steering committee has been formed with the province’s participation.

As well, international consulting firm Deloitte has been contracted to compile the regional bid, which will be submitted to Amazon before the RFP deadline on October 19.

“The groundswell of support from key stakeholders in the business and technology community and the mobilization of partners across Metro Vancouver and the Lower Mainland has been electrifying to watch,” said Ian McKay, CEO of Vancouver Economic Commission.

“To fulfil the RFP and address all eight key decision drivers, we knew we would require extensive inter-sectoral and cross-regional data compilation. We are grateful to all the individuals and organizations who have stepped up to provide support and guidance. This is a unique opportunity to create a new process and template document for us to build upon for regional foreign direct investment attraction opportunities in the future.”

The provincial government notes the Greater Victoria region is also planning to submit a bid to Amazon, but no formal support has been provided.

The tech giant says its second headquarters, to be built over multiple phases over two decades, will employ up to 50,000 in high-paying positions. As much as 8 million sq. ft. of office space will be built at a cost of $5 billion.

Amazon’s RFP states it needs about 100 acres of greenfield land, which should be within close proximity to a downtown core, within 45 minutes from a major international airport, no more than 3 kms away from a major international airport, and near major arterial road routes and public transit services.

Prospective urban regions should have at least one million residents.

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Kenneth Chan
National Features Editor at Daily Hive, the evolution of Vancity Buzz. He covers local architecture, urban issues, politics, business, retail, economic development, transportation and infrastructure, and the travel industry. Kenneth is also a Co-Founder of New Year's Eve Vancouver. Connect with him at kenneth[at]dailyhive.com

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