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San Bernardino County shares proposal to lure second Amazon headquarters

By in Press Enterprise on November 1, 2017

By Brian Whitehead

San Bernardino County is officially in the running to land Amazon’s second headquarters.

A three-part proposal recently submitted to the online retailer touts the region’s workforce, schools, public transit and location. Such public figures as Rich Karlgaard, Forbes publisher, and Jack Dangermond, founder and president of Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), endorse the county in video testimonials.

Letters of support from public agencies also were included as part of the application.

In collaboration with the cities of Ontario and San Bernardino, the county’s Economic Development Agency crafted the proposal in four weeks, officials said. A virtual “Story Map” offers Amazon an intimate look at the area.

On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors got its first look at the finished product.

“I was so taken aback by the quality and the innovative use of technology and the great story this application tells about our county,” interim county CEO Dena Smith said before the presentation.

“You knocked it out of the park,” Chairman Robert Lovingood said after.

The county’s proposal highlights three sites across Ontario and San Bernardino in which Amazon can set root.

Elisa Laurel and Soua Vang, business attraction and retention staffers, noted “major advantages Amazon should pay attention to,” including a growing millennial population and easy access to major airports, freeways and Southern California attractions.

Ontario is offering a 115-acre site adjacent to the airport and a 122-acre site centrally located between the 10 Freeway and Guasti Avenue. San Bernardino is offering 124 acres between the Carousel Mall and parts of downtown.

All three would draw from a deep talent pool of Orange, Los Angeles and Riverside county workers, staffers said.

Dangermond called the region a “mecca” for professionals.

The presentation also notes that Amazon could realize $750 million in cost of living savings by moving here. And while other proposed sites are land-locked, San Bernardino County has room to accommodate […]    

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