After six frenzied weeks, it's deadline day to submit bids for Amazon's second North American headquarters, which promises to bring 50,000 high-paying jobs and a $5 billion investment to the top contender.
And while we've seen dozens of bids across North Texas, the Fort Worth and Dallas Chambers of Commerce revealed the cities came together to submit a regional bid ahead of the midnight deadline.
It included a video of iconic images like Reunion Tower in Dallas and the Fort Worth Stockyards. But perhaps the most powerful image wsa much simpler, an ampersand, printed over and over on sheets of paper people could fill out to describe what they love about D-FW, including "family," "growth" and "diversity."
"What we're trying to convey is we've got something for everyone here," said Brandon Gengelbach, Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce executive vice president of economic development. "You have to promote the region, you have to support our assets, to think that one community alone can do it is not the way that we're going to be successful."
And that is what makes D-FW unique. It's a large, growing metroplex that's already home to multiple corporate headquarters and a growing workforce.
"I can't think of too many regions that could absorb that kind of growth without causing headaches, and growth is our middle name in DFW," Gengelbach said.
It takes a lot of work to meet Amazon's demands of a metropolitan area with more than one million people, a stable, business-friendly environment, and a potential to attract and retain strong technical talent.
According to the request for proposals, they also want communities that think "big and creatively when considering locations and real estate options."
"Literally hundreds of communities and cities are expending an enormous amount of energy and effort," said Fort Worth City Manager David Cooke. "Lottery odds are probably better than some of this."
And while some cities have said they don't want the additional traffic, tax incentives, or infrastructure that would come with Amazon, Cooke believes the benefits far outweigh the cost.
Gengelbach is confident the region will make it through the first round, but believes there will be multiple rounds to narrow it down after that.
"Our focus was letting the facts speak for themselves. A lot of other communities were being ultra creative with how they present themselves. We did not want to get into that boat," Gengelbach said. "We fit the bill when it comes to the data and info on the RFP."
And Fort Worth officials say if any North Texas city wins the bid, it's a win for the entire region.
Amazon has said it will make a decision by 2018.
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