Detroit no longer in contention for second Amazon headquarters

Detroit not among 20 finalists for Amazon HQ2

DETROIT – Detroit will not be the home for the new Amazon's new headquarters.

Amazon released the 20 finalists who will continue in the selection process on Thursday and Detroit has been left off the list.

The proposal to bring Amazon to Detroit was led by businessman Dan Gilbert.

Story is developing. Check back for updates.

The bid promised a Detroit with millions of new square footage, not just for Amazon offices, but in residential and retail space. There would have been expanded mass transit if they came, 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.

There would have been 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.

The company said in a news release it has picked the following 20 cities:

Austin, Texas
Columbus, Ohio
Los Angeles
Montgomery County, Maryland
Newark, New Jersey
New York City
Northern Virginia
Raleigh, North Carolina
Toronto, Ontario
Washington, D.C.

"Thank you to all 238 communities that submitted proposals. Getting from 238 to 20 was very tough -- all the proposals showed tremendous enthusiasm and creativity," Holly Sullivan of Amazon Public Policy said in the news release.

Here is a statement from Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan:

"We would have loved to have made it into the next round for Amazon's second headquarters but everyone here is incredibly proud of the proposal we submitted. It showed a clear vision for the future of our city and brought out the very best of our city and our region.

"I want to thank Dan Gilbert, the Governor, County Executives, Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens and the entire bid team for an extraordinary effort in a short period of time. We learned a great deal from this process and it was a very valuable experience. We're going to keep building on the progress we’ve made and keep pursuing major developments. I expect that the lessons we learned in the Amazon process will help make us more successful on a number of other major potential investments that we are currently pursuing.

"We're going right back to work today to work on those other projects."

Here is a statement from Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder:

"It’s disappointing we will not be welcoming a new Amazon headquarters to Detroit, but appreciate their continued investment and expansion in Michigan, including right in the heart of our Comeback City.

"Detroit’s proposal to Amazon was incredible and garnered positive attention for the city from all across the world. As a state we will continue to pursue these types of valuable opportunities for our talented workforce.

"We are a top 10 state and we will continue driving to be the best in the nation. There is no limit to what Michiganders can do, and this proposal demonstrated exactly how we can marshal our resources and collaborate. Throughout the process of putting together this bid, we learned our greatest strengths and identified areas where we can improve. Now we are even more ready for the next big prospect.

"Michigan’s spirit is unstoppable, and so is our comeback. This won’t set us back - we’re accelerating to the next opportunity. We know it’s out there."

Here is a statement from Dan Gilbert:

"Obviously, we are all disappointed Amazon did not name Detroit as one of the 20 cities they will be further evaluating for their new HQ2.

"We are not deterred in any way, shape or form. Detroit is the most exciting city in the country right now and the momentum continues to build every single day.

"All you have to do is spend an hour walking around town and you will have a very clear and deep understanding of the opportunities, optimism and future of the motor city.

"We have no doubt our best days are ahead of us. There are numerous large and small deals you will continue to see develop into reality in the months and years ahead.


About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.