Cities are going to great lengths to convince Amazon that they should be the home of the company's second headquarters, called HQ2.
After Amazon announced in September that it plans to build a second headquarters in an undetermined location, it received 238 bids from cities, states, and regions across North America. Each proposal detailed why that place should be chosen for Amazon's new second home.
The company says its new campus, called HQ2, will bring 50,000 new jobs to the city where it winds up being built. The e-commerce giant will invest $5 billion in the construction, making the offer one of the largest corporate-civic opportunities in recent American history.
The shortlist is expected to be revealed some time in early 2018, and many cities have disclosed their plans to woo Amazon. Some are more extreme than others.
Here are a few of the most out-there bids.
Missouri submitted a state-wide bid that offers Amazon a choice of three locations for HQ2: Colombia, St. Louis, or Kansas City. If Amazon comes to the state, Missouri Economic Development officials told local outlet KMOV that it would build Hyperloop stations in each of the three cities.
In the state's bid, Missouri touts a proposed "innovation corridor" that would connect St. Louis and Kansas City in approximately 25 minutes, with a stop in Colombia in between. Normally, it takes nearly four hours to drive from St. Louis to Kansas City. A flight takes about an hour.
A feasibility study for Missouri's Hyperloop project is already underway — at an estimated cost of $1.5 million. The state may build the Hyperloop regardless of Amazon's decision.
Developers from the firms Matthews Southwest and Texas Central Partners are pitching a transit-oriented development for Amazon's HQ2 campus, according to the Dallas Business Journal. The headquarters would include a proposed station for a bullet train, which Dallas magazine reports is expected to cost $15 billion. If fully approved by the city, the 240-mile line would transport passengers from Houston to Dallas in 90 minutes.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has formally expressed support for the train plan, which is likely to happen with or without Amazon. Developers hope to start construction on the development by late 2018.
Dallas News reports that the proposal calls for the construction of a 500,000-square-foot office building, which would be a part of a larger 430-acre district.
The building's parking garage was demolished this summer. Now only a theater, a few art galleries, some pizza joints, and a smoothie shop remain.
There seems to be a trend of cities proposing former shopping malls as the site for HQ2. Phoenix officials likely pitched Park Central Mall to Amazon, according to multiple sources who spoke with the Phoenix Business Journal.
Park Central was the city's first mall when it opened in the 1950s. The mall's clothing stores shut down several years ago, and today there is just a Starbucks, a few restaurants, offices, and a data center.
In early October, Gov. Chris Christie and legislative leaders said they would offer Amazon tax breaks worth $7 billion over the next decade if the company decides to build there, according to Bloomberg.
The plan would expand a subsidy program, Grow NJ, and provide economic incentives for companies (like Amazon) that launch "transformative projects" (like HQ2).
The proposed bill would raise the cap on subsidies from $5,000 to $10,000 for every job Amazon creates. Christie said he expected the bill to be signed into law by mid-January.
Memphis will offer $60 million in economic incentives to Amazon, according to The Commercial Appeal.
The Memphis City Council voted on October 3 to offer the tax breaks for the company's headquarters. Additional incentives could come from the development agency Economic Development Growth Engine, Shelby County, and the state.
Frisco, Texas, is proposing turning its small city — which has a population of about 160,000 spread over 62 square miles — into a company town dominated by Amazon.
"Our city's only about 60% built out, so we've got a lot of available land where we can build to suit," Mayor Jeff Cheney told The New York Times. "We play to win. We're innovators. We're forward thinkers, and we're serious."
Two economic development groups in New Mexico (Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance and the Border Industrial Association) worked with the state's government on a proposal for Amazon to build its headquarters in three cities on both sides of the US-Mexico border.
"We believe we have submitted to Amazon, not only a unique and bold proposal, but one that simultaneously meets the needs of the population, talent attraction, infrastructure, and quality of life requirements of the RFP," Davin Lopez, CEO of the Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance, told Business Insider.
Stonecrest is pledging to change the name of part of the town to the city of Amazon if the company chooses it for HQ2, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
In early October, Stonecrest's City Council voted 4-2 in favor of the name change. The town would also devote 345 acres to the campus.
"There are several major US cities that want Amazon, but none has the branding opportunity we are now offering this visionary company," Mayor Jason Lary told the Journal-Constitution.
Part of the city of Calgary's proposal is to combine the city's name with Amazon's name. It offered the suggestions "Calmazon" and "Amagary."
To bring attention to its offer, Calgary rolled out an advertising campaign that involved spray-painting notes to Amazon on its sidewalks. The city also plastered a banner over a building in its South Lake Union neighborhood with this message: "Hey Amazon. Not saying we'd fight a bear for you … but we totally would."
Amazon said it was looking for existing buildings of at least 500,000 square feet and total site space of up to 8 million square feet.
Philadelphia would have that covered. Its officials are proposing three sites to Amazon that would collectively span an estimated 28 million square feet in the city, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
The unfinished developments — Schuylkill Yards, uCity Square, and Navy Yard — already include millions of square feet of offices, retail, transit lines, and residential spaces.