Tulalip also branches out on its own to try to land Amazon

  • Friday, October 20, 2017 1:25pm
  • News

TULALIP – Although the Tulalip Tribes have partnered with regional leaders to persuade Amazon to build “HQ2” in Washington state, they recently submitted a separate response offering sites in Quil Ceda Village.

“Our vision is to partner with Amazon, to Think Big, in order to create a nature-based community that will set an exceptionally high standard for green,” said Les Parks, chairman of the Business Committee. “The Tribes’ lands are in a location that is close to Amazon’s current headquarters yet offers a distinctly different type of environment for success. The new Amazon community/campus, as envisioned, represents a way of life that will attract employees from around the world who may resist the “cubicle fatigue” of working in a high-density, high-pressure urban environment and who can actually be more creative and more productive surrounded by nature.”

Tulalip’s offering 400 acres, consisting of an initial 100 acres plus another 300 acres of adjacent land within the boundaries. It would be a horizontal campus rather than an urban high-rise one. Many of the buildings would have rooftop, indoor-outdoor workspaces and meeting areas. As a result, buildings can be immersed in the pines, firs and cedars of their natural surroundings.

With easy access from Interstate 5, proximity to various airports, including the expansion and repurposing of Paine Field, the proposed site has strong transportation ties to Amazon’s South Lake Union headquarters and urban campus.

The project’s vision calls for self-hailing autonomous driving vehicles to move guests throughout the campus and a high-speed light rail line linking Vancouver B.C., HQ 2, Seattle and Portland.

Sovereignty allows the tribes to make development decisions quickly with minimal interference from outside government or from special interest groups. The Tribes are also the purveyor of water, sewer, fiber cable, with natural gas provided by Puget Sound Energy and electrical power by Snohomish County Public Utility.

Meanwhile, the Economic Development Council of Seattle and King County and the Economic Alliance Snohomish County have submitted a joint proposal for Amazon’s HQ2.

The proposal puts forward five sites for consideration from each county, including one from Arlington and Marysville for their developing Manufacturing Industrial Center.

The highly-skilled workforce, stellar regional educational system and unbeatable quality of life in Puget Sound make this area the perfect choice for Amazon’s HQ2, an EDC news release says.

Within the joint submission, the state Department of Commerce included five existing tax credits and grants that could be applied to Amazon, along with a letter of support from Gov. Jay Inslee and U.S. Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell.

“We are thrilled with the company’s ambitious plans here, and want to pave the way for many more years of growth across our metro region,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said. The needed workforce is here. The Puget Sound has the second-highest concentration of computer science and mathematics jobs in the U.S. at 76 per 1,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Other site submissions came from: Auburn, Bellevue, Bothell, Everett, Kenmore, Lynnwood, Renton and Tukwila. Together these sites represent a range of

development options — from customizable urban center to suburban campus to greenfield opportunities to design HQ2 from the ground-up.

“We are delighted to present these sites to Amazon as exceptional options to expand to within the region,” said Crystal Donner, chair of the EASC Board of Trustees.

The proposal is the product of collaboration and partnership between King and Snohomish counties, the Tulalip Tribes, the submitting sites, Seattle, the Department of Commerce, the Northwest Seaport Alliance, the Port of Everett, The Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County, public officials, and a variety of stakeholders including universities and nonprofits.

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