- Chicago is one of 20 locations Amazon is officially considering for its second North American headquarters.
- In September 2017, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel made his case for why Chicago would be the best choice for Amazon.
- “What city can say to you, unlike Seattle or San Francisco or New York, is one-third of the cost of living of those cities and has a cultural attraction equal to those cities? That makes Chicago the most competitive city,” Emanuel said.
On Thursday, Amazon revealed the 20 locations it’s considering, and Chicago was on the list alongside Boston, Denver, New York, and Atlanta.
As far as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is concerned, his city is the best choice for Amazon because of its young talent pool, extensive public transportation, and low cost of living.
“If you’re Amazon, and you want to grow to X, what city today, on Day One, can say every June from its universities and the Big Ten, 150,000 freshly minted four-year colleges coming out of Madison, Ann Arbor, Notre Dame, Purdue, University of Iowa. Every year, guaranteed, 150,000. Only one city can say that in the United States: Chicago,” Emanuel told Business Insider in September 2017, citing a figure from a World Business Chicago analysis of the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.
On the topic of air travel, he added: “What city can say to you, if you want to get to Seattle or New York and have six options a day? What city can say that to you on two different carriers? Only one city.”
Chicago has had a lot of success moving corporate headquarters into the city. Business Insider’s Dennis Green reported that McDonald’s, Kraft Heinz, and Conagra Brands have all planned to move their headquarters into the city instead of the suburbs. Emanuel also pointed to GE Healthcare and GE Transportation, which both moved headquarters from the UK and from Pennsylvania, respectively, to Chicago in recent years.
Plus, Chicago’s rent prices haven’t been as notoriously high as San Francisco or New York.
“What city can say to you, unlike Seattle or San Francisco or New York, is one-third of the cost of living of those cities and has a cultural attraction equal to those cities?” Emanuel said. “That makes Chicago the most competitive city.”
This article was originally posted in September 2017, and has been updated on the news that Chicago is one of 20 locations Amazon is considering for its second North American headquarters.