Amazon Rejects NYC Headquarters, Dallas Door is Still Open

Dallas Mayor calls Amazon to remind company of Dallas offer

Tech giant Amazon announced Thursday it will not pursue the headquarters campus announced earlier in New York City after strong resistance to the company surfaced there.

It had Dallas officials thinking they might have a new chance to woo Amazon again after finishing just behind Northern Virginia and New York City in the HQ2 competition.

"The door swings open to Amazon or any other major corporations," said Dallas City Councilman Lee Kleinman. "We are business friendly here."

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said he called an Amazon executive Thursday after hearing the announcement to remind her about Dallas.

"They loved us. There was no question. But she continues to want to keep an open relationship and open dialog going," Rawlings said. "I told them that they know Dallas is here for them and she said 'we do.'"

The company announcement said Amazon will pursue Second Headquarters growth in Northern Virginia and a smaller campus announced earlier in Nashville. The company is currently headquartered in Seattle.

Matt McIlwain with Madrona Venture Group in Seattle was an early investor in Amazon. He keeps in close contact with Amazon executives.

"While it looks like they are not going to choose another 'HQ2' site, I do think the decision creates opportunities for finalists like Dallas to court Amazon around areas of deep expertise in your market. Dallas could become a 'center of excellence' in key areas over time," McIlwain said Thursday.

Architecture firm HKS created a model for the Dallas Amazon bid. It combined properties of three major downtown area land owners to demonstrate how they could work together to create an enormous new urban campus with all the space Amazon said it wanted and more.

The model includes a proposed deck park over I-30 which is envisioned to bridge Downtown and the Cedars neighborhood.

HKS Executive Dan Noble showed the model to NBC5 for the first time Thursday.

"I think this shows that when you bring different land owners and different developers together, you can do so much more than each of those could do separately," Noble said. "Even if Amazon doesn't come here, that realization was a huge win for Dallas."

Noble said the plan could work for other large corporations seeking large space and urban environment instead of moving to the suburbs.

Mayor Rawlings said Dallas is actively promoting the plan for other possible relocations though none would likely be as large as Amazon’s initial request.

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