Amazon headquarters proposal includes Richmond sites

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Will Amazon locate its second headquarters in Richmond?

Richmond was one of five Bay Area cities to take part in a joint application to Amazon explaining why locating in the region was optimal for the massive online retailer.

In September, the Seattle-based company announced it was soliciting bids from metropolitan areas in North America for its second headquarters, called Amazon HQ2, which is expected to cost $5 billion and house 50,000 employees.

Along with Richmond, other Bay Area cities listed in the joint application were Concord, Fremont, Oakland and San Francisco.

In Richmond, the areas proposed to house the Amazon headquarters included the Hilltop Mall site, as well as two adjacent sites on the southern shoreline: U.C. Berkeley Richmond Field Station and Campus Bay.

In pitching the Hilltop Mall site, a struggling retail center undergoing redevelopment plans with new ownership, the application states:

“The complete redevelopment of the 77-acre Hilltop Mall is proposed for the Amazon facility. The property was recently re-zoned for up to approximately 16.7 million sf of occupied building area within which retail, office, hotel, and residential uses are permitted, and, within such building area, up to approximately 9,670 residential units are allowed.”

In pitching the UC Berkeley Richmond Field Station, owned by UC, and Campus Bay, owned by Cherokee Simeon Ventures, LLC, the application states:

“The [Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) approved by the UC Board of Regents] provided guidance for the development of over 5.4 million [square-feet] of research and development facilities on UC Berkeley property that could serve as the backbone for the Amazon facility….the combined [Field Station and Campus Bay] locations accommodate 11 million [square-feet] of R&D/business/services capacity, fully providing for Amazon’s requirement for 8 million [square-feet] of new office space.”

Will one of the Richmond sites win over Amazon?

The competition will be fierce, but this is what the company says it wants in its second headquarters:

  • Metropolitan areas with more than one million people
  • A stable and business-friendly environment
  • Urban or suburban locations with the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent
  • Communities that think big and creatively when considering locations and real estate options

HQ2 could be, but does not have to be:

  • An urban or downtown campus
  • A similar layout to Amazon’s Seattle campus
  • A development-prepped site. We want to encourage states and communities to think creatively for viable real estate options, while not negatively affecting our preferred timeline.


  1. Wow, wouldn’t that be a boon to Richmond if we could land that. Please don’t tell the RPA or Eli Moore about it. I’m sure they would find some way to scare Amazon away.

  2. They won’t give Amazon millions of dollars in tax breaks, if that’s what you mean, and why should they? Amazon pays slave wages everywhere it can, and is violently anti-union.

  3. No, they will make unreasonable demands on them and lose the business altogether. I get it that in your mind that would be a good thing. But those of us who remember when Richmond had more job opportunities than today know better.

  4. Great opportunity to make better use of our underutilized freeways which are empty most of the day. And a use for our abundant water supply is another attraction.
    So I hope Richmond showers Amazon with huge tax giveaways and sits back and enjoys the growth.

  5. Anything good for Richmond will be blocked by the RPA. Richmond is going to be a City in the near future similar to Detroit and Flint. Run into the ground by a bunch of liberals with contaminated water.

  6. This would really be great for the city of Richmond. The residents need to fight and demand change. Voice your concerns and requests to city council and the Mayor. And if you don’t get anywhere and feel the RPA is continually inhibiting succuess in the city, then start gather evidence. I envision a hayday outlining the magnitude of lost opportunities.

  7. So what? almost 250 cities across the country are courting Amazon.

    California is not a very good place to do business if you want to maximize profits via lower taxes and other costs of operation. RICHMOND would be one of the worst places in California for a large business. The unpredictability of the amateurs on the City Council doesn’t help, they may decide overnight to institute some sort of tax or fee for all businesses with more than 100 employees worldwide, without looking into the implications or legal situation.

    Until Richmond displays that it has an able-minded city government, and that unexpected disruptions or ideological attacks affecting businesses in Richmond, NO large company should expand here.

    • There is a lot of truth within your comment about the ameturs at the helm. What is even more mind boggling is that the Mayor just sits back and watches it all happen.

      • Richmond has a city manager and a nearly figure-head mayor and city council. True, they all need to approve any moves by the others, but the mayor does not have veto power. The city manager is the only professional involved. There are no qualifications for elected positions other than residency, which explains why so many of us who have attended college are nonplussed about who gets elected to city council; some are barely literate let alone educated or informed.