Amazon is conducting a national search to find a home for its second headquarters, and College Park officials say the city should be a contender to house HQ2.
The University of Maryland announced Monday that it is ready to partner with the state, Prince George’s County and the city to “position College Park as a top location in Amazon’s national search for a second headquarters.”
“Our collaborative efforts to create one of the most desirable places to live, work and learn makes Greater College Park the perfect location for Amazon’s second headquarters,” greater College Park officials wrote in a statement. “With thousands of potential employees in our cities and beyond, a talented pipeline of students coming out of the university and a growing innovation ecosystem, we […] know our community will keep Amazon competitive and future-focused in our global economy.”
Amazon issued a release stating its preferences, which include a metropolitan area with a population of more than 1 million, a business-friendly environment and an urban or suburban location with technical talent. A development-prepped urban site, with a layout similar to the company’s current Seattle headquarters, is also preferred, but not required, according to the proposal.
“When you read through the entire Amazon [HQ2 request for proposal], it screams the University of Maryland and College Park,” Ken Ulman, the University of Maryland’s College Park Foundation’s chief strategy officer for economic development, said in a statement. “We hit the marks in every category – land availability, business friendly environment, labor force, logistics, cultural community fit and so much more.”
The city will propose putting the new headquarters in the Discovery District, which encompasses this university’s M Square research and innovation districts and includes the Metro-accessible community along River Road. The Discovery District is part of the Greater College Park initiative, a $2 billion private-public project aiming to revitalize the Route 1 corridor and improve the relationship between the city and this university.
“We are shovel ready and can handle the entire requirement in our thriving Discovery District,” Ulman said in the statement. “Our highly educated, diverse community welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with one of the world’s great companies.”
The city is already home to a pickup location that opened underneath the Terrapin Row apartments in February. Amazon Prime and Prime Student members are able to get same-day or next-day delivery for certain items at this location. In August, it became one of the first five Amazon Instant Pickup service locations, which allow Amazon Prime and Prime Student members to pick up “daily essential” items within two minutes of ordering them.
The city has until Oct. 19 to submit a proposal, and the site selection will be announced next year.