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Phoenix-area mayors ready to join forces to land Amazon headquarters

(AP Photo)
LISTEN: John Giles, Mesa Mayor.

PHOENIX — The mayors of competing East Valley cities chasing online seller Amazon’s prospective second headquarters are ready to help each other out to land the deal for the state, they said Monday.

“I wouldn’t be disappointed if it went to Chandler — this is very much a regional pitch,” Mesa Mayor John Giles told KTAR 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News.

In a separate interview, Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny said, “All the major cities in the Valley will be pursuing this, but at the end of the day, we will all coalesce behind the city that Amazon would … prefer.

“It will benefit all of us.”

The benefit would be as many 50,000 jobs and $5 billion to build the site. Earlier this month, Seattle-based Amazon said it was planning for a secondary headquarters in the United States.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said the state would throw its name into the hat but that any offer of incentives must be “good for the state and good for the citizens of the state.”

A poll conducted a few days after the announcement showed that 49 percent of Arizonans wanted state leaders to pitch hard for the facility.

Amazon is no stranger to the Valley. The company has distribution centers in Phoenix, Goodyear and Chandler and offices and an IT hub in Tempe.

“We think we’ll have a good proposal, we’ll go pretty hard at it,” Tibshraeny said.

Giles listed three potential sites: the Mesa Gateway Airport area –“where Apple and other companies are lining up”; the Fiesta District (the area around Mesa Community College) and Mesa’s downtown — “it’s very much what Amazon is looking for – it’s got an urban, authentic appeal and light rail goes right through it.”

Tibshraeny pointed out that his city has “a pretty good national reputation as being an innovation and technology hub in the southwestern United States.”

Intel, Infusionsoft and Microchip have spots in the Price Corridor, and “Waymo (the self-driving car project) started its testing program in Chandler,” Tibshraeny said.

But the bottom line, Giles said, “This is bigger than any one city could handle. If this is actually going to happen, there’s going to be a lot of financial support that’s going to have to come from the state and from the region, as well.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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