Amazon is expected to announce the location of its second Headquarters “HQ2” by the end of the year, and Newark, NJ is a contender. The HQ2 project was announced on September 7 2017, and 238 bids were submitted by the deadline of October 19, 2017. Currently, the final round of the contest includes a list of 20 cities, and Newark hopes to be the socially responsible pick.
In its Request for Proposal (RFP), Amazon indicated what they are looking.
“In choosing the location for HQ2, Amazon prefers:
- Metropolitan areas with more than one million people
- A stable and business-friendly environment
- Urban or suburban locations with the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent
- Communities that think big and creatively when considering locations and real estate options”
In response, Newark submitted a 200-page proposal entitled “Yes, Newark”. The city boasted its status as the largest city in New Jersey with promising potential. As a transportation hub, it has an international airport, major port, transit system, subways and several highways through and surrounding the city. It is home to an enormous talent pool, with New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rutgers-Newark campuses located in the University Heights neighborhood of the city; it is also close in proximity to several other universities across New Jersey and New York. On the whole, New Jersey is one of the best educated states, so Amazon would have a wide range of talent to choose from. While Newark is located right next to New York City, which is also on the finalist list, it offers lower accommodation costs. Additionally, Newark has been building up its technology infrastructure and has one of the best fiber optics [high-speed] networks in the country.
The Amazon HQ2 move is scheduled to be done in three phases, the first phase being a move into workspaces ready for immediate occupancy, which Newark offers plenty of, in addition to the acres of land ready for construction. The city has proposed six locations for HQ2, including: (1) Gateway Center, (2) Mulberry Commons, (3) Matrix Riverfront, (4) RBH-South Market, (5) Lotus Riverfront, and (6) Washington Park.
With Amazon’s pledge to bring 50,000 permanent jobs and spend $5 billion on construction, Newark is eager to bring HQ2 home. The state of New Jersey, under former Governor Chris Christie, offered Amazon $7 billion in state and local tax breaks in their bid.
With corporate social responsibility a key concept for corporations’ livelihood in the 21st century, Newark hopes that Amazon will consider the immense impact bringing HQ2 would have on the city. Amazon picking Newark would have a great positive affect on the company’s social responsibility image. Supporters of Newark’s bid have publicized such notions, such as Mayor Ras Baraka has expressed.
“When a corporation recognizes their role in transforming a city, that is not only good for their bottom line, but it sends a powerful message to their workforce and consumers who are committed to making a positive social, economic and human rights impact.”
– Ras Baraka, Mayor of Newark
Newark offers everything that Amazon and more, including the chance to significantly bolster the company’s corporate social responsibility. The 20 finalist cities, other corporations, and the general public will be awaiting Amazon’s big announcement, as the final months of 2018 approach.