SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The benefits are nearly immeasurable. The opportunity, truly unique.
"This is a once in our lifetime," Centerstate CEO's Andrew Fish said.
The potential to bring an Amazon headquarters here in Central New York is a chance worth pursuing.
"We kind of had an understanding that it would be difficult for us to really stack up," Fish said.
And so Central New York thought big. Amazon wants to build a second headquarters at a place with, among other things, more than a million people. So, Syracuse joined Utica and several area counties to reach that number in a pitch submitted to the company. Project leaders ultimately focused on three reasons that Amazon should build here.
One is a low cost of operations.
"We've estimated that it's up to $23 billion of savings in 20 years for them to locate here as opposed to having that same growth happen in Seattle," Fish said.
Cost of living in the area adds to the affordability. Another cost saver outlined in the project is through sustainability.
"We're proposing a net zero energy campus," Fish said. "It would be the first of its kind, world class."
The campus would serve as a 'living laboratory,' where energy, water, and waste systems will be integrated together. Leaders hope it will create a sustainable district for the company and its workforce.
Another selling point for the region is its drone industry.
"There is nowhere else in the country that they can go and have a test bed for their Prime Air delivery over every type of airspace," Fish said.
The NUAIR test site at Griffis International Airport is one of the central hubs outlined in the proposal. The drone corridor would also come with access to the region's UAS traffic management and testing systems.
But there's another reason that CNY is pitching to Amazon. The region's proposal implores Amazon to see how a headquarters could disrupt local poverty.
"You have to have economic opportunity," Fish said. "There is no opportunity for people to get out of poverty without a clear pathway and an economic opportunity to do so."
An opportunity that project leaders hope other companies may see as well.
Amazon is expected to make a decision sometime in 2018, and competition will be high. Dozens of other cities around the country and other regions of New York state are also submitting proposals.