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Thread: Amazon looking for a place to put HQ #2

  1. #101

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    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave View Post
    ...

    I think the mayors words are a bit confusing here. I didn't think he means they have to approach us for a RFP, but their approach in dealing with us would have to be respectful, I guess as opposed to demanding too much. There is an upcoming election, so I suspect the mayor doesn't want to be accused of giving away too much, so hence the cautious comment. I don't know if it really means that much more than that though.
    perhaps... but the tone still makes no sense to me, election or not. nenshi's tone was on the other end of the scale and he's facing the same election date. i think part of my frustration is that a mayor's comments in situations like this are pretty much irrelevant to a party like amazon, particularly when they're being given to the press and not to amazon. they are however, pretty relevant to edmontonians and how we perceive our city and our potential.

    nenshi took the opportunity to reinforce to calgarians many of the things that are still great about their city despite the current downturn (including direct air connections to seattle ). those things that were obliquely referenced in that "innovation corridor" need to front and centre and we need to beat ourselves up with them over and over until we recognize there value and hearing about them doesn't surprise us.

    as for giving away too much, i'm not sure there would ever be a too much here. what amazon is proposing in terms of infrastructure investment with their own capital and with their own reputation is on the far end of the scale when compared to what convergys bought and brought.

    we invested half a billion in the arena and have already seen that investment pay off handsomely despite those who still say we gave away too much. how can there be too much in the way of tax concessions if we're talking about giving them the northlands site as an example? the city receives no direct taxes from that site now and isn't likely to for the foreseeable future so continuing to receive nothing isn't really that big of a concession is it? compare that with the hotel rooms that would go up around them or compare that with the employment they would bring and the taxes their employees would pay on their incomes and their homes and through the businesses they would support and add the education dollars they would drive and the added airline connections they would bring etc. etc. etc.
    I'd say include the Northlands site including a repurposed coliseum. (Any loss of functionality could be re-created somewhere else in the city.

    Has anyone mentioned the fact that we can provide near unlimited cooling for part of the year, free of charge. As they automate more and more over time I'd guess that the cooling costs might be a significant cost factor until technology reduces that need.


    Also I believe I saw mention of security of supply electricity. That could be largely renewable (we have long hours of sunshine) but fully backstopped via natural gas supply. The current planned move away from coal could also be an opportunity to size and plan replacement generation according to their needs.
    Last edited by KC; 11-09-2017 at 06:04 PM.

  2. #102
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    If Calgary gets this it would be sad for us, they've already gotten so much. Would still be Alberta though I guess. Good for us as a whole.
    Last edited by Drumbones; 11-09-2017 at 10:44 PM.

  3. #103
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    I would give them Blatchford or Northlands and all the tax breaks they need. This would be a massage game changer for Edmonton. In my fantasy world, I wish I could give them every empty lot between 105st and 108st north of Jasper Ave up to 103ave.
    I don't realistically think we have a chance, but I would throw everything at them just in case.

  4. #104

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    Northlands is an interesting idea. I could get behind offering land there for development, but offering them the whole shebang would be unwise. If we were to offer them northlands then I would have the city service it, build the streets, and then offer the land on a low-cost least as they are ready to build - and make other portions of the land available on the same terms to other companies.

    In reality, though, I don't think Amazon is really looking for a suburban campus, and wherever they go it will be to a downtown or downtown fringe.
    There can only be one.

  5. #105
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    why not lease them northlands for the same deal northlands had it? no actual loss to the city going forward from what they have received in the past. the lease could be subject to minimum levels of additional improvements being completed or the landlord gets to terminate portions of the lease. never mind making use of the coliseum, they may even be able to make use of the expo centre (which could be excluded if they don't want it) and if they do those monies could be put toward the expansion of shaw instead of having shaw operate a "split" convention centre (which is still drastically better than two entities operating competing facilities).
    "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

  6. #106

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    ^ I think the realistic scenario is that there will be a bidding war. We can play "no deals" but that will simply mean "no deal". I'm sure we can come up with a good incentive, but my primary concern would be the flights. Unless the city and EIA can negotiate an agreement with airlines to provide the flights that are part of the RFP, Edmonton is out of the running.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

  7. #107

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave View Post
    ...

    I think the mayors words are a bit confusing here. I didn't think he means they have to approach us for a RFP, but their approach in dealing with us would have to be respectful, I guess as opposed to demanding too much. There is an upcoming election, so I suspect the mayor doesn't want to be accused of giving away too much, so hence the cautious comment. I don't know if it really means that much more than that though.
    perhaps... but the tone still makes no sense to me, election or not. nenshi's tone was on the other end of the scale and he's facing the same election date. i think part of my frustration is that a mayor's comments in situations like this are pretty much irrelevant to a party like amazon, particularly when they're being given to the press and not to amazon. they are however, pretty relevant to edmontonians and how we perceive our city and our potential.

    nenshi took the opportunity to reinforce to calgarians many of the things that are still great about their city despite the current downturn (including direct air connections to seattle ). those things that were obliquely referenced in that "innovation corridor" need to front and centre and we need to beat ourselves up with them over and over until we recognize there value and hearing about them doesn't surprise us.

    as for giving away too much, i'm not sure there would ever be a too much here. what amazon is proposing in terms of infrastructure investment with their own capital and with their own reputation is on the far end of the scale when compared to what convergys bought and brought.

    we invested half a billion in the arena and have already seen that investment pay off handsomely despite those who still say we gave away too much. how can there be too much in the way of tax concessions if we're talking about giving them the northlands site as an example? the city receives no direct taxes from that site now and isn't likely to for the foreseeable future so continuing to receive nothing isn't really that big of a concession is it? compare that with the hotel rooms that would go up around them or compare that with the employment they would bring and the taxes their employees would pay on their incomes and their homes and through the businesses they would support and add the education dollars they would drive and the added airline connections they would bring etc. etc. etc.
    I'd say include the Northlands site including a repurposed coliseum. (Any loss of functionality could be re-created somewhere else in the city.

    Has anyone mentioned the fact that we can provide near unlimited cooling for part of the year, free of charge. As they automate more and more over time I'd guess that the cooling costs might be a significant cost factor until technology reduces that need.


    Also I believe I saw mention of security of supply electricity. That could be largely renewable (we have long hours of sunshine) but fully backstopped via natural gas supply. The current planned move away from coal could also be an opportunity to size and plan replacement generation according to their needs.
    I think Nenshi's tone is a bit different as downtown Calgary has a huge number of vacant spaces they are desperately trying to fill. It is also messing with their property tax valuation system, the decreased valuation downtown is causing big increases in taxes suburban areas so it is a big political problem there too. Nenshi is apparently more popular in Edmonton than in Calgary now, whereas our mayor doesn't seem to be have any credible opponents so he can take a more measured response.

    I think the most important thing is to submit a proposal and see where it goes. Amazon doesn't care much about what the mayors say or their tone.

  8. #108
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    Nenshi would be willing to sell the farm to get it....but we all know it's not going to ANY city in Canada...so who cares....

  9. #109
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    While James Thompson, the former Amazon employee interviewed for the Star article, used to work for Amazon he was in middle management and not an executive so who's to say what Amazon's strategic objectives might be (i.e. how important would factors such as nationalism be, immigration policies, geographic locale). Clearly high on their priority list is a sweetheart deal whether it be free land or tax concessions. That is one area where American cities would probably have an advantage in offering a business friendly environment. Obtaining and retaining talent would also be a first or second priority. As for ease of air travel, several thousand employees paying top fare (whether it be economy or business class) to fly on a regular basis would be an incentive for any carrier to adjust their business plans and routes.

    Edmonton would have an advantage in terms of cost of living to be sure, the availability of land to building housing that is affordable. One of biggest hurdle would be marketing the city to outsiders as a center of culture and entertainment. That would be something that Toronto would have have an advantage (3 profession sports teams, theater, TIFF etc) as would its proximity to the UofT, Waterloo and all the other universities in the region, plus a major airport hub.

    No harm in trying though, this is an exercise that any city looking to engage in the "New Economy" should participate in, it's an ongoing priority.
    Last edited by norwoodguy; 12-09-2017 at 07:57 PM.
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  10. #110
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    Did my dog just fall into a pothole???

  11. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    (...)


    Also I believe I saw mention of security of supply electricity. That could be largely renewable (we have long hours of sunshine) but fully backstopped via natural gas supply. The current planned move away from coal could also be an opportunity to size and plan replacement generation according to their needs.

    I'm sorry, but BAWHAHAHAHA....renewables....one of the many issues I have with the Fort McMurray 550Kv line referenced in another thread is the lack of connection to renewables. It connects bitumen power for export to the USA. PERIOD.

    Plus, when I was asking where the new solar/wind plants were going on this unnecessary line...I was told there wasn't any. So, since this line destroys about 160+ acres of my land for anything organic or residential...I offered up the land for a solar farm. It is south facing, has the slope naturally in the right direction, and would be immediately adjacent this new line. The province, ATCO, and others laughed at me and said this was not worth it... Yup...plenty of sunshine...blown right up our *AHEM*

    Sorry to digress...but if we are going to push renewables, and the government just invested 1.6B into an unnecessary line to connect hydrocarbons to the grid...well...if we push renewables...then we'd better deliver. Our track record is abysmal...and Amazon will see right through it...
    Onward and upward

  12. #112

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    This is a case of Amazon trying to get the various cities/states/ to bid against each other in order to get the best possible deal knowing full well there are only 2 or 3 candidates they would actually consider. This is Amazon we are talking about, not the Red Cross.

  13. #113

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    This bid will be extremely high profile. All Edmonton needs to do is show that they tick the boxes. Other corporations will be paying close attention to this, and if they are looking to set up a Canadian HQ, they'll see Edmonton as a legitimate option. This could be one of the most effective marketing campaigns that EEDC can engage in.

  14. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whattagame View Post
    This bid will be extremely high profile. All Edmonton needs to do is show that they tick the boxes. Other corporations will be paying close attention to this, and if they are looking to set up a Canadian HQ, they'll see Edmonton as a legitimate option. This could be one of the most effective marketing campaigns that EEDC can engage in.
    Agreed. While it's not 'free' marketing, it is pretty low cost in that they wouldn't have to send delegations to hundreds of other companies extolling the virtues of YEG.

  15. #115

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    Good thing we have good immigration policy, because we sure aren't pumping out massive amounts of software engineers.

    This is probably one of those, ask for more information RFP's where you end up being disappointed in the information you receive. The category percentages of workforce requirements would be what I would want to know. Also, while Edmonton is connected by Fiber, I wouldn't say we are well connected. For me, that is the one red flag that jumps out. Others have pointed out that we are the most northern city in North America and that is problematic from a connectivity perspective. If a fiber connection is spliced outgoing from Edmonton, that would be a large problem. I'm not a network engineer, but I believe we connect west coast through Vancouver and east through Toronto/Chicago. I don't know if we route through Calgary or how we connect out east. Given that building that infrastructure isn't cheap, I would imagine a company such as Amazon wanting something with a more robust backbone than Edmonton can offer, unfortunately.
    Last edited by Moodib; 14-09-2017 at 11:59 AM.

  16. #116

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    ^Speaking of immigration, TEC Edmonton has a relationship with Tsinghua University's business incubator, which is unique in Canada. Tsinghua University's Comp Sci program is highly regarded, up there with MIT. It could be a pipeline for Chinese talent. Definitely something to advertise and even if Amazon does't work out, might be interesting to other firms.

    https://www.usnews.com/education/bes...mputer-science

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