Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow speaks to
reporters Wednesday about seeking Amazon’s second
headquarters in southeastern Wisconsin as Milwaukee
Mayor Tom Barrett listens behind him.
WAUKESHA — After hitting the bullseye with the deal for
Foxconn’s $10 billion manufacturing facility in Mount
Pleasant, Wisconsin officials are again taking aim —
this time at Amazon and its plans to construct a second
Wednesday, Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow joined
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett to announce the metro
Milwaukee region’s bid for Amazon’s HQ2, which could
employ up to 50,000 people and cost about $5 billion to
Farrow said Thursday the proposal created by M7, which
represents the seven metro Milwaukee counties, answers
well the questions Amazon created to make its decision,
which isn’t expected until next year. The deadline for
proposals was Thursday.
Amazon’s HQ2 proposal has drawn more than 150 declared
bidders, and likely even more who haven’t gone public
with their intentions. Some weren’t waiting until the
last minute to make their filings. Chicago, the state of
Minnesota, and Tacoma, Wash. were among those who had
submitted their responses by Wednesday afternoon.
What helped M7 prepare the Amazon proposal was it had
just come off the Foxconn deal and had a lot of the
information assembled already, Farrow said. The
proposal, he said, highlights that the metro Milwaukee
region has the population needed for the second
headquarters and the quality workforce Amazon wants.
Included in Amazon’s wish list of amenities is a highly
educated workforce and a place with a flexible
While any of the counties in southeastern Wisconsin
would like to be home to a second Amazon headquarters,
Farrow said Waukesha County has a lot to offer the
company and he is “cautiously optimistic” that it could
be picked by the giant company.
Casey, director of economic development for Waukesha
County Center for Growth, said he’s helped compile
information on sites in multiple Waukesha County cities
and will continue to work with M7 on the final proposal
that will be given to Amazon.
request for proposal from Amazon outlined a need for at
least 100 acres, good highway access and the potential
to serve the selected site’s area with some sort of
transportation, Casey said.
Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reilly said he let Casey know when
news broke that Amazon was looking for a second
headquarters location that the city would support any
site selected in the region.
Although it’s possible M7 will include a site in
Waukesha in their proposal, Reilly said there isn’t a
piece of land that is vacant and readily available for
Amazon’s HQ2 within the city limits.
Waukesha County Board Chairman Paul Decker said he has
not been active in the pursuit to bring Amazon to
southeastern Wisconsin, but he’d be happy to help if
thinks it’s a good idea to have a “stretch goal” such as
landing Amazon’s second headquarters because it helps
people to create an honest comparison of where metro
Milwaukee stands in comparison to other metro areas.
While southeastern Wisconsin has many great assets,
Decker said, he believes work would need to be done on
its infrastructure for Amazon to commit to the area.
“Looking future forward, they are going to be thinking
what will be there in 10, 20 years from now,” Decker
would love to have a headquarters like Amazon in
Waukesha County because its benefits would reverberate
throughout the state, but he’d also like to take a look
at how to get companies to start and incubate here to
become the next disruptor in the marketplace, Decker