CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicagoans are still buzzing about Mayor Rahm Emanuel betting on visionary businessman Elon Musk to build a 150 mile-per-hour express service to O’Hare.
But Emanuel was also making a subtle pitch to another visionary: Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
CBS 2 political reporter Derrick Blakley reports on how Chicago’s alliance with Musk could influence the decision on Amazon’s second headquarters.
When Emanuel announced the O’Hare express deal with innovative businessman Elon Musk, he wasn’t just unveiling another hum-drum corporate agreement.
He was sending a signal to Jeff Bezos and Amazon.
“Innovation begets innovation,” said Seth Green of Loyola University. “And people want to know that they’re in a hub where there are creative and design thinkers all around them.”
Bezos and Musk are both billionaire innovators.
With Tesla, Musk made electric cars both practical and cool.
With Amazon, Bezos first changed the way books are sold, and now, the way everything’s sold.
And Chicago’s deal with Musk to use his own company’s machines to dig two 17 mile tunnels to O’Hare and use 16 passenger Teslas on tracks to reach the airport at 150 miles-per-hour shows Bezos that Chicago is cutting edge.
“This will not only be attractive to Amazon because they’d love for their execs to get from O’Hare to downtown in 12 minutes, but also because of the broader trend that it shows,” said Green. “Which is that Chicago is home of the future of the economy.”
Officially, there’s not much change in news of the Amazon search since the January announcement that Chicago made the list of 20 finalists.
Amazon’s selection will come sometime this year.
But Emanuel is still campaigning in every way he can to show Bezos that Chicago is his kind of town.
A robust transportation network is one of the key factors that Amazon is seeking.