City of Chula Vista offers Amazon $400m in incentives for HQ campus
Transactions - OCTOBER 19, 2017

City of Chula Vista offers Amazon $400m in incentives for HQ campus

by Andrea Waitrovich

The Chula Vista, Calif., city council has offered a $400 million incentive package to attract Amazon’s next headquarters that includes a shovel-ready office location and the opportunity to co-create California’s next university.

“We have the best proposal for Amazon,” declared Mayor Mary Casillas Salas. “We can provide 8 million square feet of space in a continuous greenfield development. And, Amazon can embrace our unmatched quality of life in master-planned communities with housing for all income levels, biking and hiking trails, recreational activities, and an incredible climate. We are ready for this.”

The Chula Vista site provides 8 million square feet for the tech giant in a new headquarters located minutes from downtown San Diego, Lindbergh Field and the U.S.-Mexico border.

The incentive package approved unanimously by the City Council on Oct. 17, includes: partnering to create a new four-year, multi-institutional, binational university; providing, at no cost, Amazon with 85 acres of Innovation District property (currently valued at $100 million); waiving $10 million in Transportation Development Impact Fees for buildings owned or occupied by Amazon; providing an amount equal to the property tax received by the City for 30 years per phase of development for buildings owned and occupied by Amazon (estimated $300 million); and providing an autonomous shuttle that will serve Millenia — the 200-plus-acre, mixed-use hub where Amazon Headquarters 2 would be located.

Designed by Gensler, the architecture of the proposed headquarters campus emphasizes themes of collaboration and connectivity. Buildings are joined together through a series of outdoor bridges allowing people to travel horizontally through some of the largest floor plates currently available in Southern California. The initial 500,000 square feet of office space is shovel-ready. The City of Chula Vista, in partnership with Chesnut Properties, proposes to deliver this state-of-the-art facility that is LEED Platinum and WELL Building certified well ahead of Amazon’s stated 2019 deadline for HQ2.

Chula Vista is San Diego County’s second-largest city. It is a Smart City-focused community with global transportation connections, a skilled workforce, and housing choices from apartment and condominium communities to single-family homes and gated estates. The location also gives Amazon the opportunity to co-create California’s next university offering the technical curriculum and pedagogy required to educate Amazon and the region’s current and future workforce.

Reportedly, Amazon, which is headquartered in Seattle, plans to spend more than $5 billion to build and operate a second headquarters, which is expected to employ up to 50,000 workers. The tech giant is soliciting bids from cities across North America. Other cities expressing interest have included Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas/Fort Worth, Detroit, Memphis, Nashville, New York, Phoenix and Salt Lake City, to name just a few.

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