Riverside County is competing in the nationwide blitz to lure e-commerce behemoth Amazon to one of several inland locations.
According to the Economic Development Agency, officials submitted a bid Thursday — only hours ahead of the deadline — packed with tax breaks and other incentives to elevate the county’s profile as Amazon scopes out the best prospects for “HQ2.”
The Seattle-based company has indicated it will invest $5 billion in a sister hub, employing 50,000 people with salaries and benefits packages averaging $100,000 each.
“We have affordable housing in one of the nation’s most expensive regions,” said county Board of Supervisors Chairman John Tavaglione. “We live between the beaches and the mountains. We have … a strong economy, and we continue to grow. There’s no question that Riverside County should be prominent on Amazon’s radar.”
The EDA’s 106-page bid for Amazon’s business highlights geography, transportation and a “business-friendly environment” as inducements.
The proposal included $12.8 million in incentives — notably $400,000 in annual on-the-job training reimbursements for a decade and $8.8 million in property tax breaks, subject to the board’s approval, according to the EDA.
Proposed locations for HQ2 are Menifee, Moreno Valley, Murrieta, Perris and Riverside. County officials said the March Joint Powers Authority also offered its business park adjacent to March Air Reserve Base as a potential site.
Amazon’s pre-requisites for going anywhere include: close proximity to a university, an international airport and a mass transit system, as well as a stable and accommodating business environment where recruiting top talent will be possible.
Chicago, Newark and New York City are in the running to win the e- tailing giant’s biz, offering hundreds of millions of dollars in incentives, according to published reports.
A few market observers have noted that landing Amazon’s HQ2 may not be all positive, as traffic volume increases because of activity around the hub and property values soar, pricing some people out of real estate, with surging demand for space in previously affordable neighborhoods.
–City News Service
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