The deadline to submit bids for a second Amazon campus, known as HQ2, is upon us, and the number of local bids has jumped to three. Tulalip Tribes, in addition to participating in a regional proposal with King and Snohomish counties, have submitted their own proposal to house the online giant.
The Tulalip proposal suggests a “horizontal campus rather than an urban high-rise one,” according to a release from the tribe. They’re offering 400 acres by Quil Ceda Village, and imagine mostly low-rise buildings with a maximum of six stories.
Tulalip business committee chair Les Parks said in a statement that they want to “create a nature-based community that will set an exceptionally high standard for green.”
“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,” said Parks. “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.”
Their vision includes indoor-outdoor workspaces and meeting areas, including rooftop areas, with buildings “immersed in the pines, arbutus, firs and cedars of their natural surroundings.”
Aside from nature, the proposal points out, there are some business benefits to being located on tribal land. The tribal government’s sovereignty can make development and permitting decisions more quickly than a large city government.
“We own the land,” said Parks. “We don’t have to seek third-party approvals to develop this green, heavily forested landscape.”
Certain utility services are also controlled by the Tribes, including internet.
For transportation benefits, the proposal notes that Quil Ceda Village is right off Interstate 5. Eventually, it envisions “autonomous driving vehicles to move guests throughout the campus and a high-speed light rail line linking Vancouver, BC, HQ2, Seattle, and Portland.”
The proposal also notes that commercial flights are coming to Paine Field soon, adding an airport in close proximity.
Tax law for people not enrolled in a tribe doing business on tribal lands is complicated, but all Washington state bids benefit from a letter from the Governor’s office outlining relevant incentive programs, including workforce development grants and certain B&O tax credits.
Proposals are due today. In addition to the Tulalip proposal and one from King and Snohomish counties, Tacoma and the south Sound are submitting their own bid.
While an Amazon exec recently implied that Northwest bids weren’t in the running, an official statement from Amazon said the bids will be given “serious consideration.”