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Few Details As Kansas City Submits Regional Plan For Amazon HQ2

Mayor Sly James' Office
Last week, Kansas City Mayor Sly James unveiled a quirky campaign to attract Amazon's attention by reviewing products with a Kansas City twist. On Thursday, the city submitted its official proposal for the retailer's second headquarters.

Along with dozens of other cities across North America, Kansas City officially delivered its proposal for Amazon HQ2 to the company's headquarters in Seattle, Washington, on Thursday. 

Last month, Amazon announced plans to plow more $5 billion into building another headquarters that will be an equal to the current one in Seattle. The internet retailer plans to employ some 50,000 people with average salaries topping $100,000 at what it is calling “HQ2.” 

The Kansas City Area Development Council, which led Kansas City's effort, says the Kansas City region came together "at an unprecedented scale." The proposal represents two states and 18 counties. 

KCADC will not release details of their proposal, citing "Amazon's required Non Disclosure Agreement."

But city and state officials touted what Kansas and Missouri had to offer Amazon.

"The Kansas City region recognizes the importance of redefining the workforce of the future through top notch education,"  Kansas Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer said in a news release. 

While Kansas state officials joined in Kansas City's bid, Missouri is endorsing a proposal that would split HQ2 between Kansas City and St. Louis. Missouri's proposal includes the possibility of a Hyperloop route connecting the two cities, creating an "innovation corridor" across the state.

"My team fully and equally supported the proposals submitted by our major metropolitan areas, Kansas City and St. Louis," Greitens said in a statement. "We challenge Amazon to envision what it could achieve by partnering with us to unleash the combined strength of the entire state." 

The competitive process has prompted all sorts of high jinks to get the retail giant's attention. 

Last week, Kansas City Mayor Sly James announced he'd bought and reviewed 1,000 items from Amazon,  sneaking cheeky Kansas City promotions in each. 

The city stands to gain a lot if it is the winning bid. There’s the $5 billion dollars in investment and the 50,000 highly paid workers, but Amazon points to a number of other positive effects. The company fills 233,000 hotel nights in Seattle each year and estimates its investments have created another 53,000 jobs since it opened its downtown Seattle headquarters in 2010.

Amazon has said it will not reach a decision until next year.

Lisa Rodriguez is the afternoon newscaster for KCUR 89.3. She's on Twitter @larodrig. 

Slow news days are a thing of the past. As KCUR’s news director, I want to cut through the noise, provide context to the headlines, and give you news you can use in your daily life – information that will empower you to make informed decisions about your neighborhood, your city and the region. Email me at lisa@kcur.org or follow me on Twitter @larodrig.
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