Chicago's bid for Amazon's new headquarters sparks controversies

BY  | FROM  | 2017-09-21 17:01

Debate over whether Chicago should bid for Amazon's second headquarters heated up as Mayor Rahm Emanuel officially announced on Wednesday that the U.S. city is seeking nomination.

People who support the bid believe the giant online retailer will bring great benefits to Chicago.

For Chicago warehouse owners, Amazon effect is already big, said a report by Chicago Tribune. Amazon signed five of Chicago's 13 largest leases in the past year. The five new deals are for about 4.8 million square feet (446,000 square meters) combined, cited the Tribune.

"Amazon HQ2 has the potential to create thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of investment in Chicago," Department of Planning and Development Commissioner David L. Reifman said.

Voices of objection are strong as well out of concerns about the city's financial situation.

"We'll be giving away tax money we don't have," said Tom Gimbel, founder and CEO of LaSalle Network to Crain's Chicago, a business journal.

"To get any company to bring tens of thousands of jobs to a city will require huge tax credits and other incentives. Can Illinois afford this? Can Chicago?" he said.

More than 100 cities, states, provinces and counties in the United States and Canada have showed interest in the bid for Amazon's second headquarters after the e-commerce company announced it was seeking proposals.

Amazon said in a statement released last week that it will invest about 5 billion dollars and create up to 50,000 jobs in the chosen area. Its first headquarters is in Seattle on the west coast of America.

Opposition has not dampened Emanuel's enthusiasm at all.

"We're looking for partners to put their best foot forward and help us determine which sites have the best potential to drive growth for Amazon and Chicago," Emanuel said in a press release. "While we have many sites that meet Amazon's requirements, there is only one city that offers unmatched potential for future success, Chicago."

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