Hillsborough, Pinellas pair up to pitch Bay Area for Amazon's HQ2

- County leaders from Hillsborough and Pinellas counties are putting their heads together in hopes that Amazon's second headquarters, dubbed HQ2, makes the Bay Area its home.

President and CEO of the Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation Craig Richard believes a project like this one could re-shape the area's economic outlook.

"This is the Super Bowl of economic development projects," Richard said. "There are none bigger. This is a project with over 50,000 high-paying jobs, the type of project that can remake a community and a region."

A statement from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos reads: "We expect HQ2 to be a full equal to our Seattle headquarters. Amazon HQ2 will bring billions of dollars in up-front and ongoing investments, and tens of thousands of high-paying jobs."

When finding a new home, the company has some criteria it considers:

-It wants HQ2 to be within a couple of miles from a major highway. Both counties have that covered.

-HQ2 should be 45 minutes from an international airport. That's another box checked for the Bay Area.

-HQ2 should be in a city with mass transit. This is where the counties fall flat.

"If you look at Seattle, Seattle doesn't have the most robust of transit systems as well," explained Richard. "So, why not partner with the community that they can grow with? We think that we have all the assets necessary for them to be able to grow with us."

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman both put their stamp of approval on the possibility of Amazon's new home in one of their counties.

"Our elected officials have been very supportive," said Richard. "Our business community wants us to get after it and put forth an A+ program."

The leaders hope Amazon finds itself asking, "Why not Tampa Bay?"

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