LYNN — Two North Shore cities are competing for what could be the ultimate prize: 50,000 high paying jobs and a $5 billion investment from the world’s largest e-commerce company.
Lynn and Revere were among two dozen other Massachusetts communities and more than 100 nationwide to contend for construction of Amazon’s second headquarters, dubbed HQ2.
The Economic Development & Industrial Corp. (EDIC), Lynn’s development bank, submitted a proposal to Amazon Thursday on behalf of the city and four landlords who own more than 100 acres of waterfront property on the Lynnway. The owners, who declined to be named because their tenants who have not been notified, have agreed to submit the plan as a team.
“Our proposal is extremely competitive,” said James Cowdell, EDIC’s executive director. “If we are successful, it would be the biggest thing to happen in Lynn since General Electric came here. It’s that big. It’s a game changer.”
In its RFP, Amazon said they are seeking a metropolitan area with a population of more than 1 million, access to transit and the potential to attract and retain technical talent. The decision is expected next year.
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has said the company is seeking to build a second headquarters to rival its Seattle home, which covers 8.1 million square feet of offices in 33 buildings.
Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy, who earlier said the HQ2 project does not fit the city’s vision for the waterfront of a mix of housing and retail, is on board.
“If Amazon is willing to bring a super industry to Lynn, then it is worth considering amending our vision,” she said.
State Sen. Thomas M. McGee, who is running against Kennedy for the mayor’s seat, said Lynn should seize the opportunity for such an investment by an international company.
“I am thrilled the city has submitted a proposal to Amazon,” he said. “It will show just what Lynn can do on a national stage.”
Among the carrots the city offered includes up to $500 million in tax credits over 20 years and another $8.3 million for the creation of open space and parks along the water, according to the RFP, matching offers from other Gateway Cities.
Not to be overshadowed, Revere too answered the call.
Revere joined Boston in a proposal to site HQ2 on the 161-acre Suffolk Downs property which straddles both communities.
Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh said he was proud to present the best of the region to Amazon, with support from neighboring Revere, as the company considers locations for their second corporate headquarters.
Revere Mayor Arrigo said collaborating with Boston to envision the future of Suffolk Downs will serve as a revitalized anchor for the two communities for decades.
“With the capacity to contain corporate offices, housing, recreational facilities, open space, retail, and nightlife, Suffolk Downs will become an optimal location to live, work and play,” Arrigo said in a statement.