Leaders wait to learn whether Raleigh-Durham is Amazon's prime pick

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Thursday, October 19, 2017
Triangle in the running for Amazon's second headquarters
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The Triangle is in the running for Amazon's second headquarters.

The proposal was sent via FedEx on Tuesday, it arrived in Seattle on Wednesday, and now local officials will just have to wait with bated breath to learn whether the Raleigh-Durham area will soon be home to Amazon's second headquarters.

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The region is in the running, and officials think it could be a game changer.

"It would be a huge impact on the region. We think this would be a transformational project for the state," said Research Triangle Region Executive Director Ryan Combs. "You're talking about the biggest employer in the state and the biggest investment a company's ever made in North Carolina."

Amazon is looking at a 15- to-17-year rollout that in time would create 50,000 jobs. The company is prepared to invest $5 billion.

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

"North Carolina is the best place for Amazon's second headquarters," said Gov. Roy Cooper. "This is a great place to live and work and our team has put together a strong pitch that highlights our high quality of life, universities and community colleges, and ability to attract and grow a strong workforce.

ABC11 has learned that Triangle leaders only had one month to put together their proposal.

Amazon was offered seven location options to build their new headquarters. A few are in Wake County, others in Durham, and one more spot in Chatham.

"I appreciate the work and support of bipartisan state and local leaders and our congressional delegation in this process," Cooper added. "North Carolina is a welcoming state for all kinds of people and businesses and we would be proud to welcome Amazon to one of our communities."

Combs would not say where the properties are located, citing an effort to stay competitive.

Several other cities are vying to win over the online retail giant.

Combs said he believes his biggest competitors are Austin, Atlanta, Boston, and Washington D.C.

One item on Amazon's wish list is access to transit.

This past November, Wake County voters approved a transit referendum. The wheels are in motions for a commuter rail and bus rapid transit in the next few years.

"We think that we've got the money put aside. We have got the plans to build mass transit in this region and we think with a project like Amazon ... it would be huge for our area," Combs said.

Local leaders have been told Amazon will likely make a decision in the first quarter of 2018.