Rauner on Illinois' Amazon HQ bid: 'I believe we're going to win'

Gov. Bruce Rauner reiterated his pitch to lure Amazon's second headquarters during a visit Tuesday to a manufacturing expo in Elk Grove Village.

"We are the best location for companies like Amazon and I believe we're going to win this," Rauner predicted. "We're all in to win."

The state, together with the city of Chicago, formally submitted a bid to the Seattle-based online retailer Monday. Municipalities and states big and small have been putting together offer packages since Amazon announced last month it would spend more than $5 billion to build its second headquarters and create 50,000 jobs.

During a news conference Tuesday, Rauner declined to detail possible financial incentives or locations included in the bid, in hopes of maintaining a competitive advantage. He said state and city officials plan "to be transparent about some of the parts of our proposal" after Amazon's deadline for proposals Thursday.

Among sites being considered in the suburbs, local officials told the Daily Herald this month, are the DuPage Business Center near DuPage Airport in West Chicago, the McDonald's campus in Oak Brook, and a 90-acre site near Interstate 88 and Eola Road in Aurora and Naperville.

Rauner said the joint city-state government effort includes locations in the city and suburbs, though he also said Amazon is interested in "an urban environment that young, tech-savvy people want to live in."

Rauner said he believes Illinois is the best location because of its transportation network, proximity to O'Hare International Airport, talented workforce, and colleges and universities.

Even after submitting the bid, the governor said he planned to continue efforts to secure a deal by having discussions with Amazon brass and making a return trip to their Seattle headquarters.

During a speech earlier Tuesday at the fifth annual Made in Elk Grove Manufacturing and Technology Expo, Rauner told business owners he wants Illinois to be the "fastest manufacturing growing state" in the country and plans to continue cutting red tape to get there.

"Those jobs that have been flowing to Texas, Tennessee and Indiana are coming back here," he said during his appearance at the Elk Grove Park District Jack A. Claes Pavilion. "I'm going to be traveling the nation and world to bring manufacturing here."

Rauner also helped Mayor Craig Johnson hand out four Elk Grove business excellence awards: eWorks Electronics Service for community support; Chem Plate Industries for sustainability; Jarvis Lighting for innovation; and MC Machinery Systems for industrial development.

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  Gov. Bruce Rauner and Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson share a laugh before they addressed business owners at the Made in Elk Grove Manufacturing and Technology Expo on Tuesday. Mark Welsh/
  Gov. Bruce Rauner concludes a news conference after taking questions from reporters Tuesday in Elk Grove Village. Mark Welsh/
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