Buffalo and Rochester to work together on Amazon HQ proposal

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Amazon started dangling its $5 billion carrot on Sept. 7, setting off a flurry of economic peacocking leading up the proposal deadline of Oct. 19. 

That’s one week from Thursday. 

But consider this: Separately, Buffalo and Rochester ranked 50 and 51 when it came to population sizes sought by Amazon. Together, they rank at 28 — that’s a major step forward. 

The Buffalo and Rochester metro regions have been working together since the beginning to try and bring Amazon’s proposed second headquarters to the region.

The announcement was made by Invest Buffalo Niagara on Thursday morning.

“In assessing the full scope of the Amazon HQ2 RFP opportunity, it was apparent that by linking our efforts, the combined Buffalo Rochester Metro Corridor can offer a proposal that is both compelling and extremely competitive,” InBN President and CEO Tom Kucharski and GRE Interim President and CEO Matt Hurlbutt said. “With over 2.2 million people, a very talented labor pool, and an extremely livable community, our organizations are excited to join forces in attempting to draw the interest of Amazon.”

In early September, Amazon issued a request for proposals (RFP) regarding a project related to potential site locations. Amazon plans to hire up to 50,000 people for full-time positions.

The project itself is expected to require capital expenditures totaling more than $5 billion.

“This collaboration demonstrates the undeniable connectivity that already exists between our two great communities,” Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo said. “In addition to several excellent site options and a low-cost operating environment, we believe that it is our people, highly-skilled workforce, world-class colleges and universities, and strong regional competency in radio-frequency identification (RFID), sustainable packaging, flight controls, drone technology, high-performance computing, software development, and data analytics that will help our proposal stand out.”

There’s also a great benefit to going through this process,” Kucharski said. Even if Amazon fails to give western New York the nod for its second headquarters, all the work that’s been going on in the past month has been a great way to better understanding all this region has to offer.

“We have a compelling story in and of itself,” Kucharski said. “There are so many benefits from going through this exercise. Look, there’s no moral victories in what we do. We want to win this thing. We want to win every one that we get in. But this exercise should provide a pretty good roadmap, or at least a good conversation, and how we go forward in the next 20 years in this half of the state.”

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