University touts Michigan as destination for Amazon headquarters

Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - 7:40pm

Last Thursday, Amazon announced its plan to build a second headquarters somewhere in North America, and released a request for proposal for interested cities to complete.

Many have suggested Detroit as a potential location, and University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel added his support to the bid this week.

“We’re a research machine with an enormous array of faculty doing work of relevance to the types of businesses that Amazon is in,” he said Monday in an interview with The Detroit News. “We’re a source of educated talent for whom Amazon here in Michigan might be an employer of choice.”

The current Amazon campus in Seattle, Wash., employs more than 40,000 people, comprises 33 buildings with more than 8.1 million square feet and has injected about $38 billion into the local economy. Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos expects the second headquarters “to be a full equal to our Seattle headquarters.”

John Roach, spokesperson for the Detroit Mayor’s office, released a statement that “as to Amazon's request for proposals for a second headquarters, we will be evaluating carefully."

Gov. Rick Snyder touted the state as an ideal destination as well.

"Not only is Michigan a top-10 state for doing business and attracting 25- to 34-year-olds, our workforce is growing at a higher rate than the national average and we lead the region in inbound migration for those with bachelor's degrees or higher," he said in a statement.

The RFP is open until Oct. 19, 2017, and Amazon expects to make a decision in 2018.