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Before application deadline, Red River Valley out of running for second Amazon headquarters

The Amazon Apollo building in Seattle, Dec. 7, 2016. The online retail giant said it was searching for a second headquarters in North America in 2017, a huge new development that would cost as much as $5 billion to build and run, and would house as many as 50,000 employees. David Ryder / copyright 2017 The New York Times

BISMARCK -- As cities and states across the country apply to be the site of Amazon’s new headquarters, the Red River Valley already appears to be out of the running.

Lisa Gulland-Nelson, vice president of marketing and public relations for the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corp., said they filled out an initial questionnaire but weren’t able to submit a full proposal because they didn’t meet enough of the criteria.

“We threw our hat in the ring,” she said Tuesday, Oct. 17. “It puts us on their radar a little bit.”

EDC officials knew their odds were long, given that the company was looking for an area with at least one million people. North Dakota’s total population was almost 758,000 last year, according to Census estimates, and state officials didn’t plan to apply because of the requirement.

Amazon expects to invest more than $5 billion in its second headquarters “to be a full equal” to the current Seattle campus and create as many as 50,000 jobs.

Bids to be the site of the HQ2 project are due Thursday. Minnesota was preparing to beat the deadline by one day, the Pioneer Press reported this week.

John Hageman

John Hageman covers North Dakota politics from the Forum News Service bureau in Bismarck. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Grand Forks Herald and Bemidji Pioneer.  

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