Detroit-Windsor Amazon bid offers a 'compelling story'

Friday, October 20, 2017

The Windsor Star/Dave Battagello

 

The video, over three minutes long, includes stunning graphics of Detroit’s best features and touts its international connection with Windsor being “just a bridge away.”

 

Follow this link to view the original article and the video.

 

A dozen meetings were held between Mayor Drew Dilkens, local business leaders and their Detroit counterparts to come up with the joint Detroit-Windsor Amazon proposal that was submitted Thursday.

The face-to-face talks and hours of homework to ferret out the best of what each community offers created a “compelling story,” Dilkens said.

Specific details of the bid are not being discussed, but Dilkens hinted it simply tells the company why it should locate in Windsor and Detroit.

“I’m sure every city had a great team on this,” Dilkens said. “But unlike others, we are not offering to name our city after the company or other gimmicks. We are just telling our story. There are significant advantages locating here that no other city can offer.”

Amazon has vowed to invest US$5 billion and create up to 50,000 jobs over the next 15 years in the community selected to open its second headquarters. More than 100 cities are vying for the opportunity.

The Detroit-Windsor campaign was led by Detroit entrepreneur Dan Gilbert. As part of Detroit’s bid submission, a new website and video were launched Thursday online by Gilbert’s Rock Ventures company at detroitmovestheworld.com.

The video, more than three minutes long, includes stunning graphics of Detroit’s best features and touts its international connection with Windsor being “just a bridge away.”

“We think Amazon will see our talent, tax implications, incentives and flexibility which are all part of the package,” Dilkens said. “We think the bid and our whole case is compelling and we hope Amazon feels that way as well.

Stephen MacKenzie, CEO of the Windsor-Essex Economic Development Corporation, said working with his Detroit counterparts is not new, but the Amazon effort has allowed for a “much deeper dive on data” that should attract future investment — especially in the tech sector.

“The bottom line is each city’s assets and strengths: when we maximize those (combined with Detroit) we have a really unique advantage. We had discussions even today how we can now pitch the same principles and strengths used for the Amazon bid to a lot of other businesses. It’s exciting.”

There are no timelines given what steps Amazon will take now that the proposals have been submitted, Dilkens said.

“The process is in their hands,” he said. “We are not sure if they will create a short-list of 50 or 20 for a next step or how they will move forward. We hope we will have further opportunity to make our case.”