Under scrutiny, officials give in and plan to release (some of) Colorado’s bid for Amazon HQ2

The Metro Denver Economic Development Corp. announced it’s changed its mind and wants the public to see how creative and innovative Colorado is in its bid for Amazon

Amazon received 238 proposals in response to its call for locations to build its new North American headquarters. (Amazon.com Inc.)
Amazon received 238 proposals in response to its call for locations to build its new North American headquarters. (Amazon.com Inc.)
Amazon received 238 proposals in response to its call for locations to build its new North American headquarters. (Amazon.com Inc.)

Colorado officials claimed for weeks that details around the state’s bid for Amazon’s new North American headquarters needed to stay secret to give the metro area the best chance of attracting the e-commerce giant.

But on Thursday the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp. announced it’s changed its mind and wants the public to see how creative and innovative Colorado is in its bid for Amazon. The regional economic group is expected to release a redacted version of the state’s proposal to Amazon on Thursday.

Amazon.com Inc. announced Sept. 7 that it’s looking for where to build its second headquarters or HQ2. The facility, Amazon said, would employ as many as 50,000 people — which would put it on par with the town of Parker in terms of size — and bring more than $5 billion in construction and operations investments.

Colorado was one of the 54 cities, states, provinces, districts and territories that sent proposals for Amazon last week ahead of the company’s Oct. 19 deadline.

Some local government organizations like Boston and Chula Vista, California published their proposals online and others like Chicago shared their proposed sites. But Colorado officials largely kept the details of their bid secret.

As of Oct. 25, Colorado Public Radio, Denver attorney Ty Gee and Denver Channel 7 requested the documents on the Amazon bid. State officials told Channel 7 that it would cost $790 for the documents, according to records obtained by Denverite.

The CEO of Metro Denver Economic Development Corp.,  J.J. Ament, told Denverite last month, “We don’t want to do anything that impairs Colorado’s ability to win nor do we want to do anything that might impair Amazon’s ability to easily execute whatever plan they have.”

A release from the Metro Denver EDC on Thursday said, “This economic development effort has attracted enormous attention, and the Metro Denver EDC would like the public to see the creativity and innovation that went into the region’s submission to Amazon — and to inform interested parties how the Metro Denver EDC works regularly to attract corporate relocation, expansion and capital investment to Colorado.”

Metro Denver EDC is still planning to keep some information from the public including site information and other proprietary data.

Subscribe to Denverite’s newsletter here.

Business & data reporter Adrian D. Garcia can be reached via email at agarcia@denverite.com or twitter.com/adriandgarcia.

Adrian D. Garcia

Author: Adrian D. Garcia

Adrian D. Garcia is on business and trends for Denverite, serves as treasurer for the Colorado chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and on the board of the Denver Press Club. He can be reached at agarcia@denverite.com.