Chicago Announces Massive Committee To Lure Amazon

CHICAGO (CBS) — The Emanuel administration has taken the wraps off a 600-member coalition designed to lure Amazon’s second headquarters – and a promised 50,000 jobs – against nationwide competition.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and sometimes nemesis Gov. Bruce Rauner are honorary co-chairs of a committee that almost literally includes everybody – every state legislative leader, the government heads in Cook and all six collar counties, executives of every major Chicago corporation and many minor corporations, and civic and religious leaders.

Among the biggest names on the committee are United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz, loop Capital CEO Jim Reynolds, Abbott Laboratories CEO Miles White, former U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, former Mayor Richard M. Daley, former White House chief of staff Bill Daley, McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook, Citadel founder Ken Griffin, GrubHub co-founder Matt Maloney, and Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg.

The mayor wasn’t shy about touting Chicago as the right place at the right time for Amazon’s second headquarters, during a summer jobs breakfast on Wednesday.

“Amazon, if you’re listening, we’re number one,” he said. “Not only did our graduation rate lead the country every year for the last five years, Chicago is the number one city in the United States for corporate relocation every year for the last five years.”

Chicago will be proposing at least four sites in its effort to woo Amazon, including the Thompson Center, the old Michael Reese Hospital site, the now-vacant Finkl Steel plant, and a plot south of Roosevelt Road along the Chicago River. Developers have until the end of the day on Wednesday to submit other proposals.

Amazon has said its new facility would include at least a $5 billion construction investment, 8 million square feet of office space, and 50,000 jobs with an average salary of more than $100,000 a year.

According to Business Insider, Emanuel already has spoken to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos about why he believes Chicago should be the company’s choice for its new facility.

On Wednesday, Emanuel again hit on why he believes the Second City is first when it comes to business.

“What city has more universities than any other city in the United States but Boston? Chicago. What has the best-connected aviation system in the United States, and maybe in the world? Chicago. What has the number one public transportation system? Chicago,” he said.

Chicago is not alone trying to lure Amazon’s second headquarters to Illinois. Orland Park and Tinley Park also have announced they’re making bids.

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