Peduto Says Full-Time Team Is Working On Amazon HQ2 Proposal, Willing To Invest $500K On Bid

Sep 19, 2017

Pittsburgh's proposal to become the location of Amazon's second headquarters includes a full-time team of up to 20 people, Mayor Bill Peduto said Monday.

The team is comprised of members of city departments like the Urban Redevelopment Authority, Allegheny County's Economic Development office and the Mayor's office, as well as representatives from large downtown entities like PNC Bank.

"This isn't something that you can do part time," Peduto said.

Tim McNulty, press secretary for Mayor Peduto, said the city workers involved in the team will continue to work on their other duties while constructing the Amazon pitch, saying, "we're all just doing a lot of extra work."

Their time investment is expected to come paired with a city-wide investment of $500,000 to develop the proposal, which is due Oct. 19. The bulk will come from private investors, Peduto said, and a $50,000 URA grant that was approved last week.

Peduto said the up-front fundraising will be worth the trouble if Pittsburgh gets selected. Amazon has pledged 50,000 jobs and $5 billion to the project, and city leaders have said Pittsburgh should have an advantage over other metropolitan contenders.

Amazon's wish list includes at least 100 acres of development space, a metro area of at least a million people and proximity to an airport.

"One hundred acres in an urban setting is very rare," Peduto said. "A lot of these cities have nowhere near a hundred acres, but we do."

Peduto said the 178-acre Almono site on the Monongahela River in Hazelwood is the proposal team's top choice, with a possible tower at the old Civic Arena site.

Peduto said he's also hoping for a commitment from state legislative leaders on tax incentives.