Metro Detroit's bid for $5 billion Amazon 'HQ2' due Thursday

Posted at 5:37 AM, Oct 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-19 09:50:05-04

Nearly a month after Amazon announced it was taking bids from North American cities for the site of its second headquarters, dubbed "HQ2," Detroit will be submitting its bid for the headquarters on Thursday.

VOTE NOW: Should Amazon be offered major tax breaks to build new headquarters in Detroit?

Amazon said cities' RFP (request for proposal) are due on Oct. 19 for the $5 billion headquarters that could bring 50,000 jobs to the new city.

In September, the giant announced they were looking for a second headquarters that would be a full equal to their Seattle headquarters.

Quicken Loans Founder Dan Gilbert, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder immediately jumped on the opportunity.

Gilbert was leading a Super Bowl-like bid committee for HQ2 and according to Duggan, there have been hundreds of people working on the committee within the city and Bedrock.

Duggan said that Amazon's RFP reminded him of Gilbert.

"You've got a billionaire, who has a company with thousands of employees. He wants to put in a place where he creates lots of buildings in a downtown area and move the employees in," Duggan said. "I thought, who do I know that's done something like that?"

The city of Southfield had also planned to submit a proposal for HQ2 on the site of the vacant Northland Mall. The city purchased the mall for $2.4 million and is expected to spend around $10 million to demolish it.

Detroit is expected to have some tough competition from other cities like Chicago, Atlanta, Boston and more. It's not clear how many cities are submitting proposals.

"We're up against some really tough competition and really great cities, but if we all pull together, we're going to take a shot," Duggan said.

Snyder has previously said the pitch needs to involve the entire metro Detroit area to bring HQ2 to Detroit.

"The governor had a whole series of suggestions on how we need to get the whole region involved because 50,000 jobs won't be in one city," Duggan said. "You're going to need multiple communities."

"While there are may encouraging business reasons for Amazon to set up shop in Michigan, I firmly believe that our most impressive asset is the incredible, hard-working Michiganders who make our state the best in the nation," Snyder said a statement.

Amazon was looking for the headquarters in a suburban or urban area with more than 1 million people and a community that "thinks big."

Right now, their headquarters in Seattle features 33 buildings and 24 restaurants or cafes spread across 8.1 million square feet.

The company is expected to announce the city for HQ2 sometime in 2018.