Naperville Business Attorney Discusses Chicago’s Bid for Amazon “HQ2”

Amazon, Naperville business law attorneyOver the last two months, there has been talk about Seattle-based Amazon looking for a second headquarters in North America to facilitate its wide range of business ventures. Amazon has indicated that it would like to set up its “HQ2” in a major metropolitan area with a population of at least one million. This week, the state of Illinois and the city of Chicago sent an official letter to Amazon presenting the city as an “extraordinary opportunity for Amazon” and offering a series of valuable incentives for choosing the Windy City. As a business law attorney, I recognize the importance of attracting businesses into the region, along with the creation of new jobs and city infrastructure that would go along with such a deal.

A Multi-Billion Dollar Investment

Since its founding in 1994 as an online bookseller, Amazon has quickly become a leader in the digital consumer revolution. As we discussed in a recent post, Amazon has also branched out into other areas, including the grocery industry, consumer electronics, and cloud-based infrastructure services. The diversification of the online retailer has created a need for a second base of operations outside of the Pacific Northwest.

According to various news outlets, the new headquarters will be at least 500,000 square feet and Amazon plans to spend a minimum of $5 billion. The HQ2 could eventually grow to as large as 8 million square feet and employ up to 50,000 people. It is easy to see why Chicago and Illinois would be interested in such a venture.

The Incentives

In the letter to Amazon, state and city officials offered around $2 billion in tax breaks, incentives, and spending on local infrastructure to support the proposed headquarters. The package reportedly includes $1.32 billion in EDGE tax credits, nearly $173 million in utility and sales tax breaks, more than $61 million in property tax discounts from Cook County, and almost half a billion dollars in improvements to public transportation and other infrastructure needed for the project.

The offer also includes free land if Amazon were to build on the site of the Michael Reese Hospital in Bronzeville–currently owned by the city—or the state-owned Thompson Center in the Loop District. The use of either site would increase the value of the bid by up to $100 million or more. State and city officials also indicated that additional incentives would be available if Chicago is selected.

The Chicago bid included eight sites in urban areas and two in the suburbs. Altogether, Amazon has received bids for more than 230 locations in 54 different states, territories, districts, and provinces throughout the continent.

Call Us for Help

If Amazon chooses Northern Illinois for its second home, the impact to the local economy would likely be tremendous. The new facility promises to create jobs and improve the lives of thousands of people. Existing local businesses are also likely to be affected, especially in the immediate vicinity of the chosen site. To learn more about how your company could benefit from the deal, contact an experienced business law attorney in Naperville. Call 630-756-1160 for a confidential consultation today.



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