The Santa Clarita Valley is one of nine sites presented as a possible second headquarters for Amazon.com Inc. within the Los Angeles County’s regional proposal to the e-commerce giant, according to the Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corp.
Holly Schroeder, chief executive of the Santa Clarita Valley organization, confirmed to the Business Journal that the area is one of the sites that made the cut in the proposal submitted by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. on behalf of the L.A. County region and in conjunction with the L.A. County Board of Supervisors. The e-commerce giant announced last month it is hunting for a location that will be “a full equal” to its massive Seattle headquarters campus, and invited all large metropolitan areas in North America to submit what they can offer the company by Oct. 19.
LAEDC’s Chief Executive Bill Allen also announced publicly Wednesday that the proposal was submitted with nine sites but wouldn’t disclose any further details, such as the locations of the sites, other than to say that each “separate and distinct” site meets Amazon’s requirements. The agency did confirm that one of the sites was the nearly 500-acre Fairplex in Pomona.
“Though the specific sites are not being disclosed by the LAEDC for competitive reasons, they afford Amazon a strong set of options (including existing collections of buildings, in-fill development opportunities and greenfield sites) to choose amongst, while still being able to meet Amazon’s timeline and development plans,” Allen said in the statement.
Parties to the proposal included L.A. City Mayor Eric Garcetti and the mayors and city managers of the cities that met the requirements, as well as colleges and universities, utilities, private sector leaders, Gov. Jerry Brown and other government agencies, he added.
Amazon’s location requirements included 8 million square feet of building space, public transportation, quality of life, a computer-savvy workforce and financial incentives. It will be occupied by an estimated 50,000 employees to handle the tremendous growth Amazon anticipates over the next 10 to 15 years.
Santa Clarita Valley could be the area’s best bet to attract Amazon. It has millions of square feet of developable land, a list of business incentives and a fast-growing economy. Those incentives exist in the form of a lighter tax burden, such as no gross receipts tax, no business license fee, no utility user tax, no payroll tax and the city offers a use tax rebate program.
In the West San Fernando Valley, L.A. City Councilman Bob Blumenfield (District 3) hopes that the 46-acre site of the former Aerojet Rocketdyne plant in Canoga Park could be in the running.
LAEDC would not disclose if the site made the region’s proposal to Amazon, but the councilman wrote personally to Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos presenting it himself. He also authored a City Council motion with Councilman Paul Krekorian (District 2) that specifically suggested the site, saying the surrounding Warner Center area “is uniquely positioned to meet Amazon's needs with a recently updated Specific Plan that encourages investment and makes approvals more streamlined to facilitate construction at the scale Amazon seeks.”
The city of Oxnard in Ventura County has also thrown its hat into the ring, according to news reports, and submitted a proposal suggesting a vacant property called Sakioka Farms between Rice Avenue and Del Norte Boulevard and south of Highway 101.
Amazon would also like to be within 30 miles of a population center with at least 1 million people, within 45 minutes of an international airport and a couple of miles at most from major highways. The retailer’s request for proposals doesn’t spell out its overall objective for the second headquarters.