Brampton’s Amazon HQ2 Site Proposal Misses

In case you have been living under a rock for the past 2 months, you are surely aware that there is a major effort underway by the Internet Retailing behemoth Amazon (AMZN Market Cap: US$471B) to choose a site for a second North American Headquarters. The company has outgrown its current headquarters in Seattle.

The deadline for submissions is tonight (Oct 19, 2017). Cities around the continent have been working on proposing bids with lucrative incentives in hopes of attracting the project which promises to invest US$5 Billion in the new site and hire 50,000 full-time employees.

Brampton’s bid is included as part of a Toronto Regional bid with other municipalities in the GTA. Each Municipality included one or more site options for Amazon to consider. Initial online feedback from Brampton residents on the proposed Powerade site (see photo) by Brampton has been underwhelming to say the least…

Christopher P. I like the proposal, but I think the location is bad. This is near nothing Amazon wants.

Patricia M. This would be fantastic but I think your expectations are a little high. I think the headquarters will be in Toronto.

Alex D. I don’t mean to criticize but it looks kinda ordinary. I don’t think Jeff would not be blown away by this. That’s just my personal opinion.

Kevin R. Amazon was very clear that the location would need to be close to transit and cycling infrastructure. This is close to a highway that isn’t easily accessed by transit and, throughout the day, is barely accessible by road. This location is incredibly lacking.

Also surprising in the City of Brampton’s press release about the bid is a reference to Light Rail Transit service at the site which most followers of transit will shake their heads at:

“upcoming GO Transit and Light Rail Transit expansions will directly benefit the site and enhance connections to the Innovation Corridor connecting to talent from Waterloo to Toronto”

This author is utterly shocked that the Powerade site is the best the city could offer up. Either the city’s Economic Development Team is asleep at the wheel or they realized that the city had no chance of landing the project and offered a site outside of the downtown area that wouldn’t raise eyebrows. suggests that the top 5 cities most likely to be considered are the Atlanta, Austin, Toronto, Pittsburgh, and Boston areas. The City of Chicago created a 600 person team to develop their proposal. Other cities are including tax incentives, land, and other lucrative freebies. In New Jersey, the state is offering a whopping US$7 billion in tax credits if Amazon chooses Newark.

The Toronto Region has put together a 188 page proposal with multiple site options around the GTA (read here: Toronto Region Response to Amazon HQ2 RFP). The sites include, in the order listed in the report:

  1. Downtown Toronto
  2. Mississauga Downtown
  3. Vaughan Metropolitan Centre
  4. Markham Centre
  5. Brampton Powerade Centre
  6. Pickering Seaton Lands
  7. Ajax Carruthers Creek
  8. Milton 401 Fronting Land
  9. Oakville Trafalger & 407
  10. Burlington Bronte Meadows

The City of Toronto proposed 4 sites in their section of the bid. 3 of the sites are in the downtown core, a key urban requirement that Amazon requested. Good luck Toronto.