DALLAS – Mayor Mike Rawlings expressed confidence on Friday as Dallas begins its second set of talks with Amazon and after The Wall Street Journal reported that Dallas appears to be the best fit for the online giant.
“We are fiscally a much better situation for their shareholders because of the cost of living, cost of business, cost of construction and our incentives,” Rawlings told WFAA after leaving the U.S. Conference of Mayors winter meeting in Washington, D.C.
When you put the incentives with the low cost of doing business, Rawlings explained, “it makes a pretty good financial package.”
Still, the mayor would not reveal any details about what Dallas offered.
“I’ve been talking to a lot of mayors up here. Everybody is keeping their cards close to their vest,” he added.
Of the 20 finalist cities that Amazon announced potential sites for its second headquarters, The Wall Street Journal on Friday ranked Dallas at the top of the list.
“A large tech labor force, and middle-of-the-road ranks for nearly everything else, places Dallas at the top of our ranking,” the Wall Street Journal reported.
The Journal used Amazon’s own metrics of a “metro area with more than one million people, a stable and business-friendly environment and a location where it can attract and keep tech talent” in the ranking. “A wild card could be economic incentives, a factor Amazon cites in its request, something that could help it recoup its hefty spending on the new site,” the paper reported.
“We were the most balanced across the board,” the mayor continued.
But what more does Amazon want to help narrow its choice for a second headquarters? That’s the mystery.
“We are in those conversations right now and signing all the non-disclosure material to make sure we don’t tell what we shouldn’t tell,” said Rawlings. “I think they’re going to go dark a little bit.”
The mayor didn’t have a timeline on how soon Amazon might select a winning city or perhaps narrow the finalists even more.
“They’ve said it will be this year and if they’re as methodical as they were before, I think they’ll use this time off,” he continued.
Despite the anticipation of potentially landing Amazon’s second headquarters, which could bring 50,000 new jobs, Rawlings said he is not anxious.
“I’m competitive. This is fun for me. I’m not nervous because I don’t think we’re betting the ranch. This city will be great whether we get Amazon is not. But this is fun competing with the best across the United States,” said Rawlings.