WNY leaders: Bring Amazon HQ here

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Amazon is dangling a five billion dollar carrot to cities and states across the country to house its second headquarters in North America.

And, like dozens of other locations across the country, Western New York is getting in on the action.

As of Friday, Erie County Legislative Majority Leader Joe Lorigo has suggested Erie County, Mayor Byron Brown is asking residents to submit their own ideas for Buffalo’s proposal, and the Niagara County Legislature said they’re ready to submit their own by the deadline.Toronto has shown interest as well.

Amazon wants to add a second HQ to its current home in Seattle.

The company is looking for metropolitan areas with more than a million people. They want easy access to not only a strong talent pool, but transportation systems on the road and in the air.

They’re looking for an initial build out of half a million square feet — with the potential to build out to 8 million square feet.

Amazon says it will fill all that space with up to 50,000 employees.

Admittedly, western New York has the space, the amenities and the talent pool.

“But that’s also true of a number of other cities,” said Fred Floss, the chairman of the Department of Economics and Finance at SUNY Buffalo State. “So then the question becomes, how much is this worth to us. And if you believe in Buffalo, and we believe we’re growing in the right ways and we’re going to be productive, then we shouldn’t sell everything out to get Amazon to be here. There will be other deals coming down the pike. We should be doing these normally.”

Meanwhile, Congressman Brian Higgins is asking local leaders to pump the brakes. He wants the region to submit a proposal that encompasses all of western New York. The deadline to submit is Oct. 19, with a decision coming sometime next year.

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