Amazon, the Seattle-based e-commerce giant, is looking to open a second headquarters in North America. Rhode Island officials say the Ocean State will throw its hat into the ring in what is likely to become a competitive race for the company among U.S. cities.
Amazon announced Thursday it is looking for a metropolitan area to house roughly 50,000 employees. The company is looking to for at least 8-million square feet of developable space, along with proximity to mass transit, an international airport, and quality schools.
Matt Sheaff, spokesman for Rhode Island’s economic development agency CommerceRI, admits the application process will be competitive, but he pointed to the state’s recent success in drawing companies like GE Digital and Johnson and Johnson.
Amazon said it will spend $5 billion on the project and will make a final decision sometime in 2018. Cities have until mid-October to submit proposals to the company.
Many other cities have also expressed interest, including Boston, which successfully wooed the international conglomerate GE from its former headquarters Connecticut.
Amazon already has plans to add digital jobs at an office in Boston, and is opening a warehouse in Fall River.