BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Right now, economic agencies in at least Rochester, Buffalo and New York City are actively working on their proposals as to why Amazon should build a new headquarters there.
"We are in competition with many other significant players and so we are putting all of our cards out there. It will be their decision," Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, D-NY, said.
New York State said it is letting each metro area take the lead on its own proposal.
"Empire State Development is bringing to the table some resources in research, in marketing, and in real estate," ESD President Howard Zemsky said.
Zemsky said the state's tax incentive package will basically apply equally to any New York proposal. As for the amount, he said they're still determining but it will be competitive with other states while still providing a positive return on investment.
"We have an idea based on the number of jobs that they've talked about and the pay of those jobs," Zemsky said. "We always have a metric around like Excelsior Tax Credits or things of that nature and it's driven in large part by employment, by compensation and by investment."
But the state cautioned, tax investments, while important, are only one part of the equation.
"We're going to let them know if you want a highly-skilled workforce, low cost of power, all the advantages of having the infrastructure we have in place, we're the best place in the country for them," Hochul said.
Amazon said it’s planning to bring up to 50,000 jobs over a 10 to 15 year period. Although Rochester and Buffalo will likely be among the smaller metros to apply, Zemsky believed they have the infrastructure, the buildings and potentially the sheer number of qualified workers.
"We have a prolific output of colleges and universities in this region and I think we could absorb that many people over time," he said.
In its request for proposals, Amazon notes it could select more than one plan – or none – so he believed it’s a good opportunity for any region that qualifies to participate.
"At the end of the day, Amazon's thinking about what they want may change based on what they received and once they go through the process," he said. "So it's not as simple as there's one winner and lots of losers. There may be many winners."
Submissions are due by October 19.