Amazon won’t deliver new headquarters to Upstate NY

Published Jan 19, 2018 at 4:00pm

Amazon dashed the Rome-Utica-Syracuse region’s long shot hopes of landing the plum prize of its second headquarters and tens of thousands of new jobs, as the online retail giant excluded all of the bids from upstate communities from its list of finalists announced Thursday.

New York City, however, did make the list.

The company sifted through 238 proposals in coming up with its 20 finalists.

The potential locations still include tech-strong places such as Boston and New York.

The Washington area had three finalists that make up the nation’s capital and its surrounding suburbs.

The company is looking to supplement its original location in Seattle, Wash.

The company’s announcement last fall that it was looking for a second home touched off a fierce competition among states and cities looking to lure Amazon and its promise of 50,000 jobs and construction spending of more than $5 billion.

Syracuse-based CenterState CEO pitched the Central New York/Mohawk Valley area to Amazon.

The pitch was an underdog compared to major cities but the economic development agency sought to make a strong case for the region.

Amazon required applicant cities have a population of 1 million people, which is why the proposal combined Syracuse, Utica and Rome into one region. The three cities and surrounding counties met the population requirement.

CenterState said Central New York offered an affordable cost of living and cost of operation, a high density of colleges and universities and a shared interest in the drone industry.

The application noted that Oneida County’s Griffiss International Airport is home to a Federal Aviation Administration-designated unmanned aerial system test site.

Amazon wants to use drones to deliver packages in the future.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo had promised to give Amazon the same economic development package regardless if the company chose New York City or an upstate site. Besides Central New York/Mohawk Valley, upstate applications included Rochester-Buffalo and the Albany area.

According to the online retailer, the cities and regions still in the running for the company’s second headquarters are: Atlanta, Ga.; Austin, Texas; Boston; Chicago; Columbus, Ohio; Dallas; Denver, Colo.;

Indianapolis, Ind.; Los Angeles; Miami; Montgomery County, Md.; Nashville, Tenn.; Newark, N.J.; New York City; Northern Virginia; Philadelphia, Pa.; Pittsburgh, Pa.; Raleigh, N.C.; Toronto, Ontario; and Washington, D.C.

Amazon said it will make a final selection sometime this year.

The company plans to remain in its sprawling Seattle headquarters, and the second home base will be “a full equal” to it, founder and CEO Jeff Bezos had said.

Meanwhile, Apple is taking a page out of Amazon’s playbook. It announced on Wednesday, among other initiatives, that it plans to build a new campus in the United States, as part of an effort to hire 20,000 new Apple employees over the next five years.

Where will the new campus go? Apple said only that it will be announced later this year, and declined to comment if it already had a location in mind.  

Apple didn’t comment on whether it was soliciting bids or planned to have municipalities compete for the new campus.