The 10-county Pittsburgh region is pursuing a joint bid to host Amazon's HQ2, the second headquarters campus for the Seattle e-commerce giant that could bring billions of dollars of investment and as many as 50,000 jobs to the winning area.
Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh Board Chair Kevin Acklin provided further details on the pursuit of the Amazon headquarters bid and the regional organizing effort behind it following the URA's vote to hire Pittsburgh-based Maya Design and its corporate parent The Boston Consulting Group to consult on Pittsburgh’s bid.
Cities all over North America are competing for the Amazon bid.
Acklin confirmed the region will pursue an application process with the belief that western Pennsylvania as a whole would generate economic benefits. It’s believed that Amazon is seeking an urban site for HQ2, noting its presence within the city of Seattle for its original headquarters, as well as Amazon's strong emphasis on sustainability, including walkable neighborhoods and bike lanes as well as renewable energy sources.
One potential location is what’s known as The Almono site in Hazelwood, the site of a large brownfield redevelopment project and the city's largest available space. While Acklin referenced the Almono site during the meeting, he told the Business Times that he and Mayor Bill Peduto have been talking to multiple property owners in the city about the prospects for Amazon, noting the development need not be limited to any one master planned project and that other riverfront sites will be relevant.
Amazon plans to start with a 500,000-square-foot office complex with the expectation of expanding it to 8 million square feet over 10 years. Given the largest master plan site in Pittsburgh at the 178-acre Almono property calls for 3 million square feet, Acklin acknowledged the city could work to revise the master plans to allow for the Amazon plan.
Source: The Pittsburgh Business Times