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.