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Rochester and Buffalo to collaborate on Amazon HQ2 proposal

atoz-campaign-press-releaseGreater Rochester Enterprise Inc. will work with Invest Buffalo Niagara to entice Amazon.com Inc. to locate its second headquarters in the Buffalo-Rochester Metro Corridor.

The collaboration will give officials the opportunity to leverage both regions’ assets.

“As far as Invest Buffalo and Greater Rochester Enterprise, we’ve been working together for a number of years,” said GRE interim President and CEO Matt Hurlbutt. “We see this as a natural progression of working together and a unique response to the opportunity.”

In September, Amazon issued a request for proposals for a project related to site locations for the e-tailing giant’s HQ2. Amazon officials have said the new facility will employ as many as 50,000 staffers with an average total compensation of $100,000 annually. The project is expected to require more than $5 billion in capital expenditures.

InBn and GRE will present an urban campus opportunity for Amazon’s consideration, Hurlbutt said. The proposal is not being made public at this time, he added, and the choice between locating in Rochester or Buffalo will depend on Amazon and its selection process.

“It’s presenting a super-region to them; instead of competing with the Buffalo area, we’re going to be working with them,” Hurlbutt said.

Amazon has requested all proposals be submitted by Oct. 19.

“Over the years, some of the most innovative companies in the world have called Buffalo and Rochester home,” said Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren and Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown in a joint statement. “We look forward to seeing that pioneering history showcased in the proposal alongside the recent resurgence that our cities are experiencing, be it through notable downtown commercial and residential developments, tech and startup industry expansion and activity, affordable housing and good jobs, or the newfound urban vibe that has been attracting millennials and working professionals to the region.”

In its request for proposals, Amazon officials noted several prerequisites for its new headquarters. The company has a preference for a metro area with more than 1 million people; a region with a stable and business-friendly environment; an urban or suburban location with the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent; and a community that thinks big and creatively when considering locations and real estate options.

The Buffalo-Rochester proposal will feature dynamic site locations, information on the region’s existing and evolving innovation ecosystem and background on the area’s more than 60 colleges and universities, officials said. The submission will provide detailed responses to the various components of the Amazon RFP, while expounding on several potential proposal differentiators, including the region’s affordability and ease of travel.

“This collaboration demonstrates the undeniable connectivity that already exists between our two great communities,” said Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz in a statement.

Dinolfo and Poloncarz also noted the region’s highly skilled workforce, world-class colleges and universities and strong regional competency in radio-frequency identification, sustainable packaging, flight controls, drone technology, high-performance computing, software development and data analytics as capabilities that will help the proposal stand out.

Follow Velvet Spicer on Twitter: @Velvet_Spicer

(c) 2017 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-363-7269 or email [email protected]

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