And as far as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is concerned, his city is the best choice for Amazon because of its young talent pool, extensive public transportation, and low cost of living.Â
“If you’re Amazon, and you want to grow to X, what city today, on Day One, can say every June from its universities and the Big Ten, 150,000 freshly minted four-year colleges coming out of Madison, Ann Arbor, Notre Dame, Purdue, University of Iowa. Every year, guaranteed, 150,000. Only one city can say that in the United States: Chicago,” Emanuel told Business Insider, citing a figure from a World Business Chicago analysis of theÂ Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.
On the topic of air travel, he added: “What city can say to you, if you want to get to Seattle or New York and have six options a day? What city can say that to you on two different carriers? Only one city.”Â
The Chicago Tribune reported that Emanuel has spoken with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos several times about making Chicago its new $5 billion headquarters.Â
Chicago has had a lot of success moving corporate headquarters into the city. Business Insider’s Dennis Green reported thatÂ Â McDonald’s, Kraft Heinz, and Conagra Brands have all planned to move their headquarters into the city instead of the suburbs. Emanuel also pointed to GE Healthcare and GE Transportation, which both moved headquarters from the UK and from Pennsylvania, respectively,Â to Chicago in recent years.Â
Plus, Chicago’s rent prices haven’t been as notoriously high as San Francisco or New York.
“What city can say to you, unlike Seattle or San Francisco or New York, is one-third of the cost of living of those cities and has a cultural attraction equal to those cities?” Emanuel said. “That makes Chicago the most competitive city.”