ALBANY, N.Y. — The New York City metro area, Buffalo-Rochester, greater Syracuse and the Albany region are all in the running to win Amazon’s second headquarters.
All four regions submitted formal bids for the $5 billion project before Thursday’s deadline. State leaders aren’t revealing how much they’re willing to offer in financial incentives, but Howard Zemsky, the state’s top economic development official, said he expects New York to be among the top contenders for the retail tech giant’s project.
It likely will be a while before a winner as announced as Amazon winnows down the list and negotiates with finalists.
“This is more of a winding road,” said Zemsky, president and CEO of Empire State Development. “This isn’t like going to the Academy Awards and opening up the envelope.”
The state is willing to offer a “full complement of state incentives” including job tax credits and financial assistance with office space development, education, workforce training and research, according to a statement from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office. The Democratic governor wrote to Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos to tout the state’s efforts to modernize its transportation networks, improve the business climate and pass a $15 minimum wage and free tuition at public universities.
“New York is submitting proposals from every corner of our great state, but we are one New York — and we will work with you to create the greatest possible benefit to Amazon and to all New Yorkers,” Cuomo wrote in the letter.
The state’s four entries all take a regional approach, with the metropolitan New York City submission also covering Long Island and suburban Westchester County.
Buffalo and Rochester teamed up to create a single western New York submission. Syracuse, Utica and the Mohawk Valley collaborated on another proposal. Albany and the broader capital district joined forces on a fourth.
Officials in and around New York City have touted the region’s culture and its status as an international commercial and finance hub. They’ve also talked up the city’s transportation options and its large labor pool.
Upstate leaders, meanwhile, are focusing on the area’s cheaper cost of living, natural and recreational resources, and the proximity to major metropolitan areas like New York — but with a little more room to spread out.
Cities across the country and Canada were expected to submit bids to Amazon before Thursday’s deadline. The Seattle-based retail tech giant says the project could create up to 50,000 jobs.