Several suburbs offering sites for Amazon's second headquarters
Suburbs far and wide are interested in getting a piece of the Amazon pie.
The Seattle-based online behemoth last month announced it's looking for a second corporate headquarters and will spend more than $5 billion to house as many as 50,000 employees.
Earlier this week, Aurora threw its hat into the ring to provide a 90-acre site north of I-88 at the Eola Road interchange that also includes 10 acres in Naperville. Mayor Richard Irvin and state Rep. Stefanie Kifowit said a citywide fiber optics network Aurora provides is exactly what a high-tech industry such as Amazon needs.
"Aurora is in a strong position to be able to compete and make it more feasible for Amazon to move to the region," Irvin said.
But in contacting several counties and municipalities Thursday, numerous other sites emerged as potential candidates. Municipalities are expressing their interest to their respective counties, which are in turn passing the details along to the state by an Oct. 16 deadline.
Among the interested communities are Hoffman Estates, Oak Brook, Rutland Township, Schaumburg and West Chicago.
Amazon has asked for only one bid per metro area, and the state has taken responsibility for coordinating it, said Kevin Kramer, economic development director for Hoffman Estates.
"Wherever Amazon ends up in the Chicago area, if they do, it's going to be a win for everyone," he said. "We're all coordinated and working together."
Hoffman Estates officials would not discuss specific sites, but Village Manager Jim Norris noted that Amazon's original headquarters in Seattle is scattered among multiple sites.
Schaumburg Community Development Director Julie Fitzgerald said the village has also participated in the process. But she emphasized it's intended to be confidential, and there's little she can disclose about the details of what Schaumburg sent.
John Carpenter, president and CEO of the Choose DuPage Economic Development Alliance, said the West Chicago site could involve the DuPage Business Center, near DuPage Airport. The McDonald's campus in Oak Brook, which the company is vacating next year, encompasses 100 acres and has tollway visibility for a potential Amazon move.
Jacquelyn Reineke, media relations director for the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity, did not return phone calls seeking comment Thursday.
Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico said the city will help with the region's application to land the second Amazon headquarters by offering potential employees amenities such as housing, education, health care and transportation connections.
"As a support role, we do have a lot to offer," Chirico said. "We will be part of that solution."
One suburban spot not in the Amazon hunt is Rosemont. Mayor Brad Stephens said that although the 2.5-square-mile village is on the edge of O'Hare International Airport, there isn't much land available to suit a potential Amazon headquarters.
• Daily Herald staff writers James Fuller and Christopher Placek contributed to this report.