Details released on Detroit's massive pitch to land second Amazon headquarters

Pitch to Amazon includes major tax breaks

DETROIT – No matter where Amazon ultimately decides to build its second headquarters, Detroit, Michigan and Dan Gilbert have thrown everything they have at the company to land the project.

The scope of the bid is breathtaking. "We're prime Amazon, and we're ready," was the pitch to CEO Jeff Bezos in 242 pages that read like a love letter from the city.

The bid promises a Detroit with millions of new square footage, not just for Amazon offices, but in residential and retail space. There would be expanded mass transit if they come, and even a ferry service between Amazon offices in Detroit and Windsor.

Gilbert sent a letter letting Amazon know the city offers three things its customers want: Low prices, big selection and fast delivery. It encompasses everything from real estate to talent.

In the shadow of Gilbert's Chase Tower, which Gilbert said he's ready to turn over to Amazon immediately should they decide to come to Detroit, the idea of Amazon's HQ2 is a thrilling prospect.

"I think if Amazon came here it would do absolutely amazing things for the city," resident Lindsey Robbins said.

"Jobs, money, job fairs, a lot of stuff," resident Yassir Salih said. "More employees are going to come to the city. They have delivery. They have packaging. They have a lot of stuff."

The 242-page sales pitch plugs existing Downtown Detroit office space as well as six other building sites throughout Detroit and Windsor.

There are also tax breaks. The documentation obtained by Local 4 has the total value of the tax breaks blacked out, but the state is willing to let Amazon keep 100 percent of its workers' state taxes for 10 years, and 50 percent of those taxes for the following 10 years while still having its workers pay Detroit's personal income tax.

In addition to those incentives, the rest of the pitch centers around how much innovation and renewal has happened in Detroit over such a short amount of time.

If Amazon came to Detroit, the pitch said the impact would be even greater.

About the Authors:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.