Thursday was the deadline for cities to submit a potential site to Amazon for its upcoming, Apple UFO-like $5 billion new North American headquarters, a secondary hub that the company says will compare in size and scope to its existing Seattle headquarters.
Naturally, Bay Area cities are clamoring to draw company CEO Jeff Bezos’s eye. In all, nine local cities want to attract Amazon with prime real estate, including a coalition of seven cities, dubbed the Northern Arc, who submitted jointly.
San Francisco, Oakland, Richmond, Concord, and Fremont form the bulk of the so-called arc, with Pittsburg and Union city attached as potential “secondary sites” for Amazon riches.
The mass bid by the Bay Area Council [BAC] name drops the likes of “Levi Strauss, Kaiser Permanente, Chevron, Clorox, Visa, and Gap” before bringing up Google, Facebook, Apple, Tesla, Salesforce, and what it refers to as “a burgeoning knowledge-based economy” around Silicon Valley.
More important than the chance to rub shoulders with Tim Cook and Mark Zuckerberg, BAC argues that Bay Area cities have the infrastructure Amazon wants:
The backbone of the Northern Arc is Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), which has stations in each city. Any one city could accommodate Amazon’s HQ2 needs, as could a combination of sites in multiple cities—all of which are connected today via BART, ferries, buses, rail, and bikeways, and soon connected by vertical transport and autonomous vehicles. All within 45 minutes to an hour of each other
San Francisco Business Times says that San Jose and Vallejo also petitioned Amazon, separately from the seven-city rush.
So, what are municipalities offering the company? Here’s a breakdown of some of the sites they’ve all pitched as potential development assets:
- Candlestick Point and the San Francisco Shipyard, here called “the largest single redevelopment opportunity on the West Coast.”
- The “Southern Bayfront,” stretching from Mission Creek down to Candlestick and including Pier 70 and Mission Rock.
- Central SoMa, “the rectangle bounded by Market Street, Townsend, Second Street, and Sixth Street,” which includes the new Flower Mart.
- Uptown Station, the former department store building that was meant to host Uber’s Oakland headquarters until the deal collapsed earlier this year.
- 601 City Center, a 24-story Shorenstein-built office tower under construction on 12th Street.
- Eastline Development, “a full city block assembled next to the Paramount Theater, where “underutilized buildings will be razed to construct large-plate office space now most in demand by tech and other firms.”
- As the city indicated weeks ago, Concord put forth the former Concord Naval Weapons station as a potential Amazon site, “2,300 acres in total, with 500 acres allocated for Phase 1.” Although it should be noted that the entitlements on the conversion from derelict military site to new development aren’t yet completed.
- UC Berkeley Richmond Field Station: “In May 2014, the University of California (UC) Board of Regents approved a Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) [that provides] guidance for the development of over 5.4 million square feet of research and development facilities on UC Berkeley property that could serve as the backbone for the Amazon facility.”
- Warm Springs parking lot: This 28-acre parcel is the current BART surface parking lot and is environmentally cleared and zoned for a 1.8 million-square-foot commercial development. Given that it is adjacent to the new Warm Springs BART Station, this site is also an excellent opportunity for increased density.
- Northern Arc Bid [Bay Area Council]
- Bay Cities Petition Amazon [SF Business Times]
- Does SF Want Amazon? [Curbed SF]
- Concord Bids Amazon [Curbed SF]