Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Will Chgo mystery bid entice Amazon?

It was with much fanfare, combined with secrecy, that Chicago city officials this week officially submitted their bid to, offering up a proposal by which the company would build its second corporate headquarters somewhere in the Second City.
What kind of bid concocted at City Hall ...

I emphasize “somewhere,” because city officials weren’t eager to share any details of what it is they’re offering to the Internet retail giant to entice them to want to come here, rather than to Atlanta, St. Louis or any other city that plans to get involved in the bidding process.

OF COURSE, CITY officials were eager to make grandiose statements about how Chicago has the “talent, transportation and technology” to be a worthy site for the new corporate offices that Amazon wants to build to supplement their existing Seattle-based facility.

But for anyone expecting a definitive answer as to whether Chicago is offering up the old Post Office downtown, the former Michael Reese Hospital site on the South Side or a site somewhere along the north branch of the Chicago River, forget it.

That’s a secret. City officials fear that somehow letting it be known publicly what they’re offering up will somehow hurt the city. Almost as though they think some other city will magically be able to duplicate what Chicago offers up as part of their own bid.

Which is highly unlikely, to tell the truth.

PERSONALLY, I WONDER about the possible re-use of the hospital or post office facilities. It would be nice to see such one-time prominent locations in Chicago be put to use – recycled, of sorts, in ways that will continue to keep them relevant for years to come.

Somehow, I suspect that Amazon types will want to think new and shiny, and if they’re contemplating Chicago at all would most likely be swayed by the artistic architectural drawings that could be created for any new site along the river.
... would attract ...

I suspect they’ll be scared away from thinking in the least about Chicago’s South Side – and probably would be equally terrified of those people who talk up the idea of Gary, Ind., as an Amazon site that would be very close to Chicago without actually having to endure the so-called drawbacks of city living.

Although I also think people who want to criticize urban life most likely are missing the whole point of why Amazon wants to build a new facility in the first place.

I MUST CONFESS to finding some of the speculation from other cities intriguing. Such as the Georgia municipality near Atlanta that is willing to approve the de-annexation of more than 300 acres of land for an Amazon site.

That would literally allow for creation of a new community that could be called Amazon, Ga. – they could be their very own city and govern themselves. They wouldn’t have to listen to any government officials. They could become, in a sense, the ultimate corporate town.

Would truly like to be the masters of their own domain, so to speak? Or is that just an old “Seinfeld” gag that the younger-minded of executives (it is a 25-year-old gag) wouldn’t appreciate?

Or could it be that the last thing officials would want to do is have to manage their own local government? Having to worry about one’s own trash pickup or street maintenance? Easier to have someone else worry about such tasks while they focus on the business of making goods available for sale at competitive prices.

BECAUSE OF THE city secrecy, I can’t even begin to speculate as to how Chicago’s bid competes with the inevitable collection of tax breaks that municipalities will offer up – seeing how much they can sacrifice short-term to in hopes that the company’s financial benefits will help them long-term.
... to want to come to the land of the Picasso?

That 50,000-jobs total is going to be tossed out repeatedly in coming years, even though the reality is that it would take many years for the number of local employees working at a new facility to equal the tally.

Maybe we’ll learn more once the application process is complete by Thursday – although just when officials plan to make their decision remains to be seen.

Ultimately, Chicago and the other cities interested in becoming the home address for the facility are at the corporation’s whim, and they’ll tell us what they’re going to do whenever they feel like it – not exactly a comfortable spot for Chicago to occupy.


No comments: