September 27, 2017

Worcester submitting solo bid for Amazon

Grant Welker
Worcester is hoping to land online retail giant Amazon, with headquarters in Seattle pictured here.

Worcester is punching its own lottery ticket in hopes the city can land online retail giant Amazon.

City Manager Edward Augustus told the City Council on Tuesday night in addition to jumping on board with a statewide application to land Seattle-based Amazon's second headquarters, 50,000 jobs and a capital investment of more than $5 billion, the city is sending its own response to the company's request for proposals.

"I want to buy two lottery tickets, not just one," Augustus said.

Augustus said the company's RFP asked for a list of state incentives, so he and city officials reached out to state leaders to become part of the state's application, but the city wants to put its name on the map, he said.

"I want every chance I can to get a piece of this or all of this for the City of Worcester," he said.

City officials will now put together an application before Amazon's Oct. 19 deadline highlighting the city's growing economy, education and commerce.

"We will spare no effort to do everything we can to put Worcester's best foot forward," he said.

The news comes just days after Newtown Mayor and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Setti Warren said Amazon should strongly consider Worcester, which is economically thriving thanks to a revitalization.

Warren said the company building in Worcester could help jump start a massive transportation improvement project linking Boston and Worcester to the western-most parts of the state.

He also cited the city's "nine fantastic local colleges," a growing innovation economy and a well-educated workforce.

"Public investments have helped Worcester emerge as a dynamic, economic powerhouse," Warren said. "Worcester grew into a shining example for the rest of the nation of how prudent public investments can set the table for entrepreneurs to unleash their creativity and create jobs, companies, and entirely new industries."

Augustus' comments were preceded by a plea from Councilor Konstantina Lukes, who urged the city to compete with Boston and other larger cities for the massive company.

"We deserve this opportunity," she said. "We're really coming into our own."

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