Its close proximity to Seattle was at the heart of Vancouver’s unsuccessful bid to host Amazon’s second headquarters. This is revealed by the documents published by the Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC), a municipal agency that initiated the bid.
Despite claiming to be “the cheapest option,” Vancouver’s bid was not accepted by Amazon.
Of the 10 Canadian cities that showed up, Vancouver claimed to be closest to the head office of the Seattle-based e-commerce giant.
The VEC submission estimated that the company could save 90,000 hours of flight time between Seattle and Vancouver compared to New York.
It would also produce 5400 tons less carbon dioxide.
On the other hand, the paper says that Amazon already employs 1,000 people in Greater Vancouver. The VEC estimates that the growing population of the region will reach 3.5 million by 2040 and already offers a large selection of employees.
A city “ready to take action”
Four locations have been proposed to accommodate Amazon: downtown and east of Broadway in Vancouver (sites 1 and 3 on the map below), Surrey (site 2) and Richmond (site 4) .
Everyone boasted of being close to the SkyTrain lines.
Already a host to technology companies like Microsoft, Electronic Arts and Sony Pictures Imageworks, Vancouver was “ready to take action.”
The desire to welcome Amazon was unanimously endorsed by the Mayor of Vancouver, the Mayor of Surrey and the Premier of British Columbia, all of whom signed the bid.
According to the Economic Commission, municipal, provincial and federal governments have taken steps to significantly improve housing affordability in Vancouver.
However, the proximity argument has provoked negative reactions on social networks.
Several Vancouver residents denounce the fact that the bid seems to minimize the unaffordable rental market in Vancouver, saying that prices are similar or even lower than in Seattle.
They are also frustrated that the city has boasted the lowest technology salaries in North America. The bid presented the average salary of a computer engineer in Vancouver as approximately $ 60,107 compared to $ 113,906 in Seattle.
Toronto is the only Canadian city whose application is still under consideration. In January, Amazon announced the selection of 20 finalists from 238 submissions.
Amazon claims that its second headquarters in North America, Amazon HQ2, will create 50,000 jobs in the chosen city.