Source: City of Rockdale / Amazon.com
Amazon HQ2 will be Amazon’s second headquarters in North America. They expect to invest over $5 billion in construction and grow a second headquarters to include as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs – it will be a full equal to their current campus in Seattle. In addition to Amazon’s direct hiring and investment, construction and ongoing operation of Amazon HQ2 is expected to create tens of thousands of additional jobs and tens of billions of dollars in additional investment in the surrounding community.
Milam County, along with local Economic Development groups and several key leaders is submitting a proposal to Amazon in response to their Request for Proposals (RFP) for its second corporate headquarters (HQ2).
“This small but determined team has been working for six weeks to put together a big proposal for arguably the biggest single project in the history of Milam County and the nation, for that matter. Milam County is proposing the opportunity to create a boundless new HQ2 on all, or part, of the property currently for sale by Alcoa, marketed as Sandow Ranch,” said County Judge Dave Barkemeyer.
“As we all know, Amazon is highly regarded as being a thought leader in their industries. Their innovation and creativity sets them apart from competitors and has extended the Amazon name beyond the realm of an online retailer, to technology, brick and mortar, traditional and online grocery and much more. Our proposal, requests Amazon to consider the boundless opportunities of a 33,000+ acre site, within 60 miles of 2.5 million people, 2 tier one research universities, and just two and a half hours from the three major population centers in the state,” said Judge Dave Barkemeyer. “We believe Mr. Bezos, CEO of Amazon, will find that our location will offer unique advantages among the many crowded, mostly urban sites that he will see as the proposals flood in,” added Judge Barkemeyer.
Imagine the sustainable work/life center that could be created among the vast rolling hills and lakes. Consider the opportunities for families in Milam and surrounding counties with an Amazon corporate headquarters calling Milam County, “home”. “While this is an opportunity for Milam County to welcome 50,000 new jobs and grow businesses throughout the county,” said Judge Barkemeyer, “our proposal provides advantages for Amazon in terms of relatively low land costs, lower cost of living for employees, utility availability, less urban congestion, room to expand, workforce availability, state and local business friendly environment, favorable weather conditions, and on and on. The proposal being submitted presents details of why we think we are the best option,” Judge Barkemeyer continued.
“The geographic location of Milam County, nearly equal distance from Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston, and San Antonio, has long been known as a strategic advantage for businesses that are located and thriving here. Our challenge has been communicating this value to other businesses and industries. For me, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to share the advantageous location of Milam County, as well as the incredibly unique value of the Alcoa property. How could we not submit an application? It was an easy decision to pursue this great opportunity,” said Barkemeyer.
“Our small, but energetic team named the project “Blue Sky” because it is boundless in vision and opportunity for Amazon, “added Judge Barkemeyer.
“Blue Sky opens a window wide for Amazon to create its own vision for a work and life campus and community. No other community in America can provide a better and more opportunity filled proposal than Milam County. The site is extraordinary and unique in its rich history, beauty, resources and proximity to so many brilliant and energetic young people,” said Judge Barkemeyer.
The project is a partnership of Milam County, Milam County Industrial Development Corporation, Rockdale MDD, City of Rockdale, Cameron Industrial Foundation and Cameron Economic Development Corporation, along with private institutions and individuals. We are doing our best to put forth a proposal which showcases the value proposition. The team also engaged the international firm of Populous to assist in preparing the proposal.
Judge Barkemeyer closed, saying, “This is the beginning of a bright future for Milam County!”