Prime Proposal: Grand Rapids submits application for Amazon HQ

Posted at 9:00 PM, Oct 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-20 04:28:45-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Grand Rapids has officially put its name in the running for Amazon's second headquarters in the U.S.

The online retail giant announced its search for a second location early last month, in addition to its headquarters in Seattle.  The new HQ would create nearly 50,000 jobs in the community.

Grand Rapids is likely one of 53 cities in the country to put in an application.  The Right Place, a group focused on economic development in West Michigan, was behind the application and partnered with a few others.

Those involved say this could be a "game changer" for West Michigan.  Amazon says it'll invest nearly $5 billion in construction, pledging to create 50,000 jobs over 10 years.

Birgit Klohs, President and CEO of The Right Place, says they submitted a 108-page proposal to Amazon on Tuesday.  She said the company received it Wednesday.

"We've made our case that for Amazon, as one of the fastest growing companies to come to one of the fastest growing regions, because that's what we are," Klohs said.

Klohs says Grand Rapids meets most but not all of the criteria.  There's room for growth in mobility, like mass transit.

The application included a few possible locations for the headquarters, which aren't being released to the public just yet.

"We can't talk about the details because we, once you've given a proposal like this to a client, you don't really talk about the details," Klohs said. "A- the client doesn't like it. B- you don't want to show your hand.  And C- you don't really want to show your competitors."

Klohs says Grand Rapids may have a good chance with Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos investing in Michigan. The company has large warehouses on the east side of the state.

Detroit also submitted an application to Amazon for the bid.

"If Detroit makes it to the final cut we would definitely support our sister city on the other side of the state because we look at it as a win-win for the whole state if they were to choose Detroit," Klohs said.

As far as the next step, Klohs says they are kind of in the dark. Amazon only says they'll have a final site selection and announcement sometime in 2018.