Is the Triangle a prime spot for Amazon 2nd headquarters?

WAKE COUNTY, North Carolina (WTVD) -- Amazon is looking for a home to set up its second headquarters and the Triangle is raising its hand for the bid.

"They're going to be looking for a state where people have education, they have strong universities and community colleges," said Gov. Roy Cooper. "We're the place for them."

Going a little further, the governor's office released a statement through spokesman Jamal Little:

"North Carolina is the best place for Amazon's second headquarters. Governor Cooper and Commerce Secretary Tony Copeland are working on a proposal with a strong package that sells North Carolina's universities, community colleges and ability to attract and retain a strong workforce."

"There's a lot that goes into these decisions," said Adrienne Cole, President and CEO of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce.

She said Amazon is looking for what will be a good fit for it today and 20 years from now. She said the Wake County Economic Development Program of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce will work with state and regional partners to put together a proposal for Amazon.

"As many people know, they issued an RFP (request for proposal), the RFP is due October 19, and we'll be submitting a proposal," Cole said.

One item on Amazon's wish list is access to transit. This is something Wake County leaders said they believe won't be a problem a few years from now.

"Last November, the voters approved a transit referendum," said Wake County Commissioner John Burns. "The first year has seen increased bus service, and we're looking at adding bus rapid transit and commuter rail in the next five to 10 years, so we will be offering what they need, what they say they want."

Cole pointed out that Amazon is looking at a 15- to 17-year rollout that in time would create 50,000 jobs. Burns said he believes the timeline for transit plans in the Triangle will more than meet that goal.

Wake County leaders also said they believe that timeline will help with growth challenges in the area.

"The job creation would happen over time and as we're putting infrastructure in place, transit is going to be key for them," said Cole. "But we also have to continue to pay close attention to things like open space, transit, affordability."

Burns added: "We're growing by 67 people a day now and most of our challenges are related to growth. We need to keep up with that growth and we're trying to plan to do that.

"That means more schools, that means more health care, that means more jobs, that means more transportation options," he continued. "We get ahead of that growth and we're in a good place because I would rather have those problems than that of a city that's shrinking and losing its workforce."

Cole and Burns compared the project to the Research Triangle Park in that it would certainly transform the area. Burns also points out that just being a contender puts Raleigh, Wake County and the Triangle on the map for other things to come.

Once the chamber submits its proposal, it will go into the pile from all the other cities around the country.
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