Add Pomona to the long list of cities hoping to land Amazon’s proposed $5-billion second headquarters.
The Fairplex, Cal Poly Pomona, Los Angeles County and the city of Pomona are teaming up to submit a bid to be home to the online retailing giant’s new campus, a project that would create 50,000 jobs at what is expected to be named Amazon’s “HQ2.”
To accommodate the headquarters, the Fairplex plans to offer 100 acres of land used for parking on the east side of White Avenue while Cal Poly Pomona is considering offering 300 acres that are now used for the shuttered Lanterman Developmental Center. The two properties are not adjacent.
The Pomona City Council is expected to vote Monday night to endorse the bid, which is due to Amazon by Thursday.
“We are audacious enough to think we, in fact, can submit a very competitive proposal and are on par with any other bid in California and North America,” Fairplex Chief Executive Miguel Santana said.
The Pomona sites will meet many of Amazon’s requirements, Santana said. For example, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority plans to extend the Gold Line train to include two stations near the Fairplex by 2027, meeting an Amazon requirement that the new headquarters be accessible to mass transit.
Also, Santana said the Ontario International Airport is about 11 miles away from the Fairplex, which meets another Amazon requirement. The region around the sites also has affordable housing and access to an educated workforce, he added.
Amazon launched the search for its second North American base because its current headquarters, which covers 33 buildings in greater Seattle, is brimming with 40,000 workers following the company’s remarkable growth that lifted its sales to $136 billion last year.
So far, cities across the U.S., including Chicago, St. Louis, Pittsburgh and Los Angeles have expressed interest in bidding for the project.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis said the county would consider offering Amazon incentives to choose the Pomona bid, such as tax credits or a favorable lease agreement.
“This is one of many proposals but I think it’s one of the better ones,” she said.
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