Friday Tuesday Open Threads, wherein we'll pass the mic to readers to speak up about topics of interest, distress, horror, and more. Have something you want discussed? Let us know. This week’s topic: Detroit’s bid for Amazon HQ2.
The details of Detroit’s bid for Amazon HQ2 are still unknown for the most part, but plenty has happened since Bedrock and a team of regional leaders submitted a proposal. We’re a dark horse in the running, but maybe the process itself was a step forward for the region. We’d like to know what you think.
Here are a few takeaways since Detroit submitted the proposal.
Last week, Inc named its top five contenders for the second headquarters. In regards to Detroit, it said: “Yes, the company would get the urban setting and affordable real estate, both corporate and residential, in addition to international airport access. However, in one fell swoop, Amazon could be the catalyst for the rebuilding of one of America's great cities.”
John Gallagher of the Detroit Free Press talked to Dan Gilbert about the bid, discussing three main points. Talent is key to the bid, including Michigan’s universities and the University of Waterloo in Canada. Like we’ve mentioned before, the possibility of activating Coleman A. Young Airport played a part in the bid. The lack of transit was addressed in a few ways: the Regional Transit Authority is in place; it just needs refining and voter approval. Plus, the region is a hub for autonomous vehicle technology.
Windsor’s mayor proposed an intriguing idea that could draw Amazon’s interest:
Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens said last week that a gondola-type link between the two downtowns becomes realistic with Amazon coming here.
“We have had conversations about that,” Dilkens said of the cable-car idea, discussed with Gilbert’s team. “It’s an expensive proposition but it’s not impossible. We’ve also had discussions with respect to a ferry service between the two downtowns.
Yes, we have buses that go between Windsor and Detroit, but please, let’s make a ferry system or gondola happen.
By the end of the year, Amazon is expected to narrow the 100-plus proposals down to 20. The chosen city—which will be home to up to 50,000 new, well-paying jobs over the next 10 years—will be announced in 2018.
We’ve noticed—and have heard from others—that this process is bringing the region together. It is important and impressive to see so many people in the Detroit area working toward one goal, particularly with the defeat of the RTA last fall. Maybe that’s the momentum the city needs right now.
We’d like to know, what do you think about our bid? Do we really have a shot? Do we want Amazon to take over Detroit? Or has the process been a good learning experience for the region? Many were inspired by last week’s video; might other businesses give us a chance? Have you changed your mind since this poll?
Let us know your takeaways from this bid and what it could mean for Detroit’s future.