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Mesa mayor makes pitch to Amazon for second headquarters

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LISTEN: John Giles, Mesa Mayor.

PHOENIX — The bids to become the home of Amazon’s second headquarters have gone out and now Mesa Mayor John Giles waits to hear back from the online shopping giant.

Giles and officials from between 50 to 100 cities and counties had until Thursday to submit proposals.

He felt awfully good about his Phoenix suburb’s chances to land the additional corporate nerve center.

“When you’re ugly, you have to pay people to dance with you, but when you’re a desirable part of the country … it kind of sells itself,” he told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News on proposal day.

Cities all across the country showed interest almost immediately after Amazon announced in September it was looking to spread out.

The company has guaranteed investing $5 billion and hiring 50,000 employees. Chandler, Tempe and Phoenix also were expected to turn in plans.

“Certainly, if we’re going to do this, we’ve got be competitive with some of the other sides that are just throwing money at Amazon,” Giles said.

“We can’t compete with (some of the bigger cities) dollar for dollar. We have to rely on the fact that … it makes a lot of sense from a practical perspective. This is where people want to live.”

The bid listed four areas of the city where the company could locate: the Mesa Gateway Airport, Fiesta Mall, Riverview (near Loop 202 and Dobson Road) and downtown.

Giles said it would “probably be a solid year of negotiations and a stack of documents a mile high that details exactly what’s expected from the municipality and the region and what we get in return.”

He pointed to the proposal from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who was offering $7 billion in incentives.

“Why would anybody in their right mind do that?” Giles asked.

He was willing to consider other concessions, though.

“Amazon has a nice ring to it — Mesa, brought to you by Amazon,” Giles joked. “There are different ways we can work on this.”

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