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Detroit doesn’t make list of possible 2nd Amazon HQ sites

January 18, 2018
FILE - This Sept. 6, 2012, file photo shows the Amazon logo in Santa Monica, Calif. Amazon announced Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018, that it has narrowed down its potential site for a second headquarters in North America to 20 metropolitan areas, mainly on the East Coast. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)

DETROIT (AP) — The Motor City’s pursuit of Amazon’s new headquarters and the thousands of jobs expected to come with it has ended Thursday with the online retail giant’s naming of 20 cities or regions that made the cut for the planned $5 billion investment. Detroit wasn’t on that list.

Amazon’s announcement temporarily muted what many see as an exciting times in Detroit’s downtown business district, which continues to grow after the city’s 2014 exit from bankruptcy.

“We would have loved to have made it into the next round for Amazon’s second headquarters but everyone here is incredibly proud of the proposal we submitted,” Mayor Mike Duggan said in a statement. “It showed a clear vision for the future of our city and brought out the very best of our city and our region.”

Seattle-based Amazon has said its new headquarters could employ as many as 50,000 people in and around the city it chooses. The company received 238 proposals. Amazon.com Inc. said it will make a final selection sometime this year.

Most of the cities that made the list of 20 were along the East Coast and in the Midwest, including Boston, Chicago and Columbus, Ohio. Los Angeles was the only West Coast city.

Detroit’s bid included office space in existing buildings, more space in projects under development and vacant land.

The bid was submitted in collaboration with the state and Wayne County. It included a low Michigan corporate tax rate and economic development tax incentives.

Amazon had made clear that tax breaks and grants would be a big factor in its decision about where to locate the project. Detroit told the company that it could keep all of the state personal income taxes paid by Amazon employees within key headquarters development sites for 10 years, and half of the taxes for the next 10 years.

The dollar value of Detroit’s incentive package was redacted from documents released as part of Freedom of Information Act requests.

Duggan picked Dan Gilbert, founder of online mortgage lender Quicken Loans and Bedrock commercial real estate, to lead the team pursuing Amazon.

“We are not deterred in any way, shape or form,” Gilbert said Thursday in a statement. “Detroit is the most exciting city in the country right now and the momentum continues to build every single day.”

“We have no doubt our best days are ahead of us,” Gilbert added. “There are numerous large and small deals you will continue to see develop into reality in the months and years ahead.”

Gov. Rick Snyder called Detroit’s proposal “incredible,” saying it “garnered positive attention for the city from all across the world.”