Will County Executive Larry Walsh has been invited by Governor Bruce Rauner and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to join a committee to bring the second headquarters of Amazon to the Chicagoland area. Amazon currently has a headquarters in Seattle, Washington but is looking to open a second one in the USA. Walsh will be joining a group of over 600 Illinois leaders from the public, private and non-profit sectors to attempt to attract the online retail giant to the state, which would create 50,000 jobs for residents.
“Will County is home to five Amazon fulfillment centers so the company is familiar with the transportation assets and skilled work force in our region,” Walsh said. “To have Amazon open its second headquarters in Illinois would bring excellent opportunities for our residents. This would be an important accomplishment for the state of Illinois.”
While the committee is looking to find a place for the new headquarters in the city of Chicago, Walsh seems to have other ideas and believes that Will County would be the perfect place for the new headquarters. Other Chicagoland suburbs, and even a few locations downstate, are also vying for the bid. However, most potential sites are in the city.
"We have something to offer that is not only critically important for the future, but reflects a strong history,” said Sen. Dick Durbin. “Chicago has always been in the middle of change in America and we have lead and we can do it again."
According to Amazon officials, the company plans to invest more than $5 billion for construction and create over 50,000 jobs. Requirements for the new headquarters include 500,000 square feet of space to begin with and be able to expand to eight million square feet over the next decade. Additionally, the site needs access to public transportation, be located within 30 miles of a population center and within 45 minutes of O’Hare Airport.
“Will County meets all these requirements and we would welcome Amazon to our county,” said Walsh. “However, the investment Amazon could make in Illinois will benefit the entire Chicagoland region with the creation of good paying jobs and the creation of many other supporting jobs in retail, restaurants, transportation and other areas.”