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Could Amazon HQ2 be in Tacoma?

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Tacoma plans to put in a bid—and Snohomish County could be close behind them


Last week, Amazon said that they’re looking for a city to host their second headquarters—dubbed HQ2. Cities across the continent are vying for a spot from Los Angeles to Toronto. But could the second headquarters end up a lot closer?

Less than an hour down Interstate 5, Tacoma is planning its own bid to host Amazon, reports the Tacoma News Tribune (TNT). And city leaders say they check off all the boxes.

“There is nothing they are asking for that we can’t deliver,” Tacoma-Pierce County Economic Development Board CEO Bruce Kendall told TNT. “We can overdeliver on what they are looking for, so yeah, we’re going to be in the game.”

For their initial shovel-ready site, the city’s proposing two to three acres downtown with room for 300,000 to 400,000 square feet of office space, Tacoma economic development director Ricardo Noguera told Geekwire. But they’re including additional locations to get that number to the ballpark required by Amazon’s request for proposals (RFP)—500,000 to 8 million square feet.

TNT notes that multiple empty parcels still sit unused—except as parking lots—downtown.

Tacoma’s also close to SeaTac Airport, and has a growing transit system, including Sound Transit’s Tacoma Link.

While staying in the same metropolitan area might not help the tech giant attract much talent they couldn’t get in Seattle—same metropolitan area, similar employment pool—Governor Jay Inslee’s tech advisor Joseph Williams told TNT thatTacoma has a great workforce, it just goes north.”

Puget Sound Regional Council executive director Josh Brown added that spreading out employment centers would be “a really good thing in terms of balancing growth throughout our region.”

Brown added that Tacoma has been slower to recover from the recession than Seattle.

Tacoma isn’t the only local municipality with its name thrown around for the second Amazon headquarters. “Hey Amazon, Bothell is the next place for your second headquarters,” reads an Everett Herald headline—almost immediately resigning that “the company has a few requirements that seem to exceed what Snohomish County could deliver.”

Regardless, several cities in Snohomish County are working together on a countywide proposal, Geekwire reports.