Amazon’s HQ2 And The Sunshine Economy


January 2018

Bob Swindell learned that South Florida made Amazon’s shortlist for its second corporate headquarters like a lot of people – – from a news alert on his phone.

Swindell did not get a heads up that an announcement was coming or that the bid he worked on would be included. He is the president and CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, one of three county economic development agencies in South Florida that collaborated on the effort to lure one of the world’s largest companies to make a second home here.

The South Florida bid to win Amazon’s HQ2 project is referred to as ‘Miami, ‘ not 
‘South Florida.’

The South Florida proposal — officially referred to as Miami — spans Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties with eight proposed sites. While some locations have leaked out in media reports, the organizations responsible for the bid won’t confirm or deny any details of what South Florida is offering Amazon. Nor will they talk about any second iteration. Amazon has required confidentiality agreements for the 20 regions left competing for its attention.

“While there is a desire to know, and in some cases a need to know, from the public,” said Beacon Council CEO Mike Finney, “I think it’s important for the public to understand that we are moving forward on the basis of what the company has specified in the request for proposal.”

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