Amazon has whittled down its wish list to 20 cities as the online retailer moves onto the next phase in finding a home for a second headquarters.
The three upstate New York bids: Rochester/Buffalo, Central New York and Albany/Rennselaer County did not make the cut, along with 215 other metro areas.
"I thought we'd make the cut. I really did. I thought we'd make the top 20 or 25 so that was disappointing," said Bob Duffy, Rochester Chamber of Commerce.
Rochester and Buffalo's mayors tried to find the silver lining. Lovely Warren's statement leads off with:
“In Rochester we should all be proud of the proposal we put together, and the fact that we were viewed as a contender for the selection of the new Amazon Headquarters by national experts is a testament to Rochester’s growing economy and quality of life."
Fortune Magazine gave the bid 16-to-one odds, ranking it No. 9 earlier in January.
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown's statement expressed disappointment but also reads, in part:
"This would have been another transformational opportunity for our City, but with the nearly $7 billion in economic development underway, our momentum will not slow down."
New York City's bid remains alive, which Howard Zemsky, Buffalo developer and Empire State President, CEO and commissioner pointed that out in a statement.
“With an unrivaled diverse workforce, unprecedented investments in world-class infrastructure and a vibrant 21st century economy, we are proud that New York is a finalist for Amazon HQ2. Under the leadership of Governor Cuomo, New York continues to attract top companies from all over the world to grow their business and create the jobs of tomorrow, and we look forward to building on this incredible momentum."
Tom Kucharski, Invest Buffalo Niagara president & CEO, echoed that, and said the expense of the proposal was money well-spent.
"The fact that New York State is still in consideration, that Empire State (Development), the governor and all those folks are involved in talking to Amazon, it will bode well for us to capture any other opportunities they might have in their book of business."
The company expects to invest over $5 billion in construction and grow its second headquarters to include as many as 50,000 new jobs. Its original headquarters in Seattle is said to have invested an additional $28 billion into the city's economy since its opening in 2010.
- Los Angeles
- New York City
- Montgomery County
- Washington, D.C.
- Northern Virginia
“In the coming months, Amazon will work with each of the candidate locations to dive deeper into their proposals, request additional information, and evaluate the feasibility of a future partnership that can accommodate the company’s hiring plans as well as benefit its employees and the local community. Amazon expects to make a decision in 2018,” the company says in a news release.