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Special Report: Choose NJ Aims to Entice Amazon

In an effort to encourage Amazon to locate its second North American headquarters (HQ2) in the Garden State, Choose New Jersey (the privately-funded business retention/attraction arm of the State’s Partnership for Action), recently sent a letter to its board members, asking those individuals for specific Amazon site recommendations.

Amazon’s request for proposal (RFP) for sites has core preferences, including, but not limited to: 45-minute proximity to an international airport; not more than a mile or two from “major highways and arterial roads” and on-site access to mass transit.

The letter stipulates that the board members must detail nine specific features of the New Jersey sites they suggest, ranging from “current zoning at the site” and “demonstration of multiple cellular phone coverage maps to ensure optimal service,” to “utility infrastructure at the site” and “whether the state or local government controls the site.”

Choose New Jersey says it will draft one Amazon RPF response in collaboration with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority and the New Jersey Business Action Center – two other entities that routinely coordinate for business attraction/retention/growth in the Garden State.

Overall, while many New Jersey residents may bemoan the state’s high property and other taxes, the state retains the unique, global position of being a metaphorical stone’s throw from both Manhattan and Philadelphia, which is, of course, conducive for commerce. Additionally, many of the best and brightest of the nation’s millennials (“human capital”) are flocking to Jersey City and other New Jersey cities, even as this demographic is – from a statistical standpoint – exiting other areas of New Jersey. Amazon employees might easily commute from either New York City to a New Jersey campus, or from other key “live/work/play” environments such as New Brunswick, Hoboken, Trenton, or the increasingly popular City of Newark. Moreover, New Jersey is home to the largest port on the East Coast, and has one of the most complex transportation systems in the world.

For these and other reasons, Amazon might indeed call New Jersey its “second home,” for its second North American headquarters.

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