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Rauner also working with St. Louis on Amazon

Monday, Sep 18, 2017

* Hmm…


That may not make Chicago-area folks happy (he caught a little heat at today’s presser for saying it) , but it’s not a bad move at all. The Metro East is dependent upon the STL economy, so a win for them would also be a win for us.

Milwaukee is also bidding for HQ2, so maybe the state should work with them as well.

Your own thoughts?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

64 Comments
  1. - Reality Check - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 12:14 pm:

    Turnabout is fair play. Illinoisans should work with Amazon to ship Rauner to Missouri. Or Wisconsin, whichever. No backsies.


  2. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 12:14 pm:

    Are they just looking at cities in the National League Central Division?


  3. - Ghost - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 12:15 pm:

    Offer them the old Joliet prison for free. I am sure Beezios could make use of solitary given his rep as a boss


  4. - Texas Red - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 12:16 pm:

    Rauner will pull more votes out of Metro East than he will from Chicago - shrewd move.


  5. - phocion - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 12:20 pm:

    Smart to keep options open. Let Missouri pay for all of the incentives, all the while Illinois residents in a high unemployment region will have job opportunities. Chicago makes sense for many reasons, but it has plenty of issues (traffic congestion, aging infrastructure) that Amazon will not like. Good on Rauner for thinking outside the box while still keeping Illinois citizens in mind.


  6. - A Jack - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 12:22 pm:

    Milwaukee is about 60 miles north of the Illinois border, so that seems like a long commute. And I don’t see Milwaukee as having the technical talent.

    St. Louis has the technical people that Amazon wants. While my preference would be Chicago, certainly a St. Louis location would benefit Illinois more than a Texas location.


  7. - Anonymous - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 12:23 pm:

    If they plopped down in the Metro East, they could have their own airport all to themselves. (part snark, part true)


  8. - PublicServant - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 12:24 pm:

    There’s no comparison between Chicago and St. Louis. Chicago is a world class city with a world class symphony orchestra, opera, theaters, the Cubs, Sox, Bears, and Blackhawks. It has some of the best restaurants in the world, etc., etc.

    St. Louis…It has the arch, humidity and heat.


  9. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 12:25 pm:

    This could give Dwight Kay something to do, besides running for office. I am starting to see an upside.


  10. - Rogue Roni - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 12:25 pm:

    Could be a good move but with the unrest going on in STL very bad timing


  11. - Rich Miller - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 12:25 pm:

    ===St. Louis…It has the arch, humidity and heat.===

    You haven’t visited lately. The place is becoming a hipster magnet.


  12. - JB13 - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 12:25 pm:

    Maybe Illinois should work with Indiana to get Amazon to locate on the south end of Chicago?
    With Indiana’s renowned economic development recruitment team, it should be a slam dunk. Unless that only works in Japan?


  13. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 12:27 pm:

    Ameren and Amazon could merge if they go to St. Louis, a new company Amerezone.


  14. - illini - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 12:28 pm:

    Actually this does make sense, albeit optimism may be premature that a compromise will be struck.

    My understanding, according to discussions last week on KMOX, is that Amazon will only consider applications from SMSAs. So applications from St. Louis AND the Metro East would not even be considered.

    It will be interesting to see if this forced cooperation can produce a competitive package.


  15. - PublicServant - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 12:29 pm:

    Chicago is a top hipster magnet lol:

    https://chicagoagentmagazine.com/2016/03/11/these-3-chicago-neighborhoods-are-hipster-magnets/


  16. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 12:29 pm:

    St. Louis also has a little river running through it. Known to be able to move goods.


  17. - wordslinger - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 12:29 pm:

    I haven’t seen any press mention that St. Louis or Milwaukee are even in the hunt. From the eight or so cities mentioned most often in the national press, I don’t see how they compete simply on the basis of qualified labor force. Not big enough metros.

    This sounds like a typical Rauner whopper, a goofy made-up story to make people feel good Downstate.

    Consider: Rauner and his econ crew have been in Asia (doing what?); St. Louis officials have been preoccupied with their latest round of police/community relationship-building in the streets.

    When are they alleged to have been working on this together?


  18. - Grand Avenue - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 12:30 pm:

    ===You haven’t visited lately. The place is becoming a hipster magnet.===

    Honestly, a huge part of the appeal to hipsters is the fact that St Louis has the cheapest cigarettes in America.


  19. - Stones - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 12:32 pm:

    While it would certainly help S. Illinois regionally, bad form again on the part of our Governor to help a location based outside of Illinois.


  20. - Biscuit Head - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 12:34 pm:

    The Governor should work with anyone on anything that will benefit the citizens of Illinois.
    including Wisconsin, Missouri, House and Senate Republicans, House and Senate Democrats…


  21. - ILPundit - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 12:36 pm:

    Politically speaking, if it goes to another state that Rauner helped, he will get roasted alive.


  22. - ArchPundit - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 12:38 pm:

    ===You haven’t visited lately. The place is becoming a hipster magnet.

    It still has the heat and humidity which I don’t miss at all. That said, one of the big advantages of Saint Louis is that it is relatively cheap. A near north side development could be put together and be a match for the new DoD facility creating a huge area for redevelopment. Or just tear down the dome. Or both.


  23. - Back to the Mountains - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 12:40 pm:

    He’d rather help another state than work with Democrats. That is my takeaway.


  24. - P. - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 12:43 pm:

    But is Munger helping St Louis? Wait … Maybe the fix is in for St Louis.


  25. - Annonin' - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 12:43 pm:

    Mr/Ms Public Servant forgot to mention cardinals which in most years are better than Dubs or Sox, that the city shed their losing football team and have a growing number of restaurants. Add in St Louis has the part of Boeing that makes stuff.

    On the down side is it is MO, a recent study from polluters and sloppy manufacturers said worse than IL.

    And why oh why would MO want GovJunk “helping” when thay have the Navy seal whiz?


  26. - stlboy - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 12:55 pm:

    Someone from Amazon is looking at all the St. Louis protests and thinking “Yeah, that’s where we should be.”….Right.


  27. - Rich Miller - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 12:56 pm:

    ===looking at all the St. Louis protests===

    Meh. All cities have issues.


  28. - Newsclown - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 12:56 pm:

    Instead of playing a zero-sum game, like vying for an Olympics, Illinois should be thinking of working this in partnership with either Wisconsin, Indiana, or Missouri. A site located on the border of Chicago and Gary would leverage assets of both states and help the economies of both. Consider too the idea of the Milwaukee-Chicago-Gary corridor as a single entity, because in a lot of ways, it already is.


  29. - illini - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 12:57 pm:

    Just to repeat my earlier post - Amazon will not consider separate applications from St. Louis and the Metro East.

    There are 5 Illinois counties considered to be a part of the St. Louis SMSA. And there are already associations and commissions that involve both states ( RCGA, Bi-State Transit etc ). And St. Louis, for a variety of reasons, has been rated as one of the top 5 tech start up locations in the country. Plus Madison County already has two huge Amazon warehouses.


  30. - m - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 12:59 pm:

    =It still has the heat and humidity which I don’t miss at all.=

    I’d say most Americans would take the STL heat in a heartbeat over Chicago winters, especially considering most migration trends show people moving to warmer climates.

    If STL could somehow land this with Illinois giving away nothing, it could be a better bottom line for Illinois than getting it in Chicago. I would think STL would have more than enough potential employees but the city certainly isn’t a Chicago level in terms of image. But less traffic, lower costs, and between Lambert and the metro east airport, probably a better setup for a business if they are shipping from there or even running private jet in and out.


  31. - Gooner - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 1:03 pm:

    If it ends up in St. Louis, Democrats will play the “Rauner needs to create jobs IN Illinois card.”

    On the other hand, any time Rauner does something to harm Chicago, his base loves it.

    It is an interesting political calculation.


  32. - VanillaMan - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 1:04 pm:

    I like St. Louis.
    It’s a really cool place to live.
    Great concerts.
    Amazing neigjborhoods.
    Cool old brick houses.
    I hope Amazon agrees.


  33. - Johnny Tractor - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 1:10 pm:

    Assuming it’s true (a previous commenter’s scepticism regarding the Governor’s ability to be honest is well-taken), it’s a smart move for someone who’s supposed to look out for Illinois’ best interests. Having Amazon locate in St. Louis will help Illinois economically, and pursuing a “Chicago only” strategy is short-sighted - the equivalent of saying given a choice of having some of the benefits or none of the benefits, we’d prefer to have none.

    I live in McLean County, and back when there was an effort to develop a large “Central Illinois” airport, I remember our County Board Chairwoman saying that her preferred location for the airport was just across the line in any of the adjacent counties. She knew we’d get the benefits with a much smaller number of headaches/expense if it was located close instead of in McLean County.

    I doubt that this will sway their 2nd HQ decision, but Amazon already knows SW IL/St. Louis because they’ve got distribution facilities in the Collinsville area. They’ve already got some idea of the attractiveness of the area for business investment, although an HQ location decision. is driven by different factors than a distribution facility’s.

    And finally, while it’s not on the scale of larger metro areas like Chicago/Collar Counties, St. Louis does have a notable amount of high tech investment/entrepreneurship going on. Set aside any historic condescension about the community and take a look at what they’ve got going now. They may not end up with Amazon, but they may be growing themselves a decent high tech base.


  34. - illini97 - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 1:20 pm:

    Would Missouri foot the bill for incentives while workers live in Metro East communities like Edwardsville and Glen Carbon?

    I’d be all for that.


  35. - A Jack - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 1:30 pm:

    Since they would likely be bringing in some executives from Seattle, those executives may feel more at home in St. Louis.

    However, I fear they will pick Texas because of their recent acquisition of Whole Foods which has its HQ in Texas.


  36. - lake county democrat - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 1:34 pm:

    I have to schedule a trip to St. Louis - last time I was there it didn’t seem to be doing so well (in stark contrast to Kansas City). Detroit’s experiencing a “hipster revival” too but it’s pretty confined geographically.

    Per a comment above, I don’t think Milwaukee is hurting for tech resources *that* much: they’ve got Marquette (w/ engineering school), UW Milwaukee, and that whole Milwaukee-Madison corridor has been growing, but there’s still plenty of open land. And they’re close to Chicago, so you’re providing cultural ops to employees.


  37. - lake county democrat - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 1:35 pm:

    (If Amazon does move to St. Louis it makes the Rams look even dumber for moving…)


  38. - ZC - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 1:43 pm:

    I’d be OK with all these neighboring states paying out huge billion dollar bribes with a significant amount of the economic benefits spilling into our state anyways.


  39. - Global - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 1:47 pm:

    Toronto. World class, infrastructure, culture, tech resources and health care off the back of the employer. No worries with immigration whims.


  40. - wordslinger - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 1:54 pm:

    Global, those are good points.

    One often overlooked benefit for large corporations to operate outside the United Stats is that it gets them out of the healthcare business.


  41. - Ahoy! - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 1:55 pm:

    It’s a good plan economically speaking to hedge our bets. Also, the reality is that it’s probably not going to come down to Chicago vs. St. Louis, if St. Louis is in play it’s because Amazon has shot down Chicago for whatever reason. If St. Louis is in the game it’s going to be going against places like Nashville, Denver, Pittsburgh, etc.

    Of course, more likely, St. Louis gets kicked off the list early (things like this past weekend matter and they don’t have good enough transit) and it’s just good PR for Rauner in the metro east and downstate where we are actually more connected to St. Louis anyway.


  42. - ChrisB - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 2:00 pm:

    Create jobs in a disadvantaged area and make someone else foot the bill for the improvements? How could anyone be against that?

    Use OPiuM (Other People’s Money) and reap the benefits. This should be a no-brainer.


  43. - DeseDemDose - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 2:10 pm:

    Amazon will come to the World class city of Chicago if it comes to Illinois. This will be in spite of Rauner as he is a negative for Illinois business at this time.


  44. - WAUKEGAN - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 2:11 pm:

    I vote for Waukegan. We have space allocated for a Casino but Amazon could make better use of the location. Plus it would have access to two express ways, the train, lake Michigan a private airport and still be 35 miles from O’Hare/down town.


  45. - blue dog dem - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 2:25 pm:

    HmMm. The Gateway to the west.has a city earnings tax. Interesting concept.


  46. - walker - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 2:30 pm:

    Governor Walker just gave Foxcomm $3Billion in incentives. That cupboard is probably bare.


  47. - Ginhouse Tommy - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 2:36 pm:

    It is not about having enough qualified people to hire. If you build it they will come and from all over the country. It’s about tax breaks, cheaper housing, transportation and such. That puts Chicago in the back of the pack. My uneducated guess it will go down south somewhere.


  48. - wordslinger - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 2:45 pm:

    GT, show me the big business that bets on the “if you build it, they will come” model for 50K white-collar hq jobs.

    You need an existing educated labor force to poach from plus a steady stream of college grads.


  49. - Robert the 1st - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 2:58 pm:

    Washington University, SLU, UMSL, MO Baptist, Webster U, Frontbonne U, ect…

    St Louis is a big college town. There is an employer shortage Amazon could fill.


  50. - Robert the 1st - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 3:02 pm:

    In fact, just this morning I was talking to a benefits’ manager for a St. Louis company. She was bragging about how quick she fills positions. They get their choice of the college grads interested in staying near by.


  51. - Nick Name - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 3:25 pm:

    The Hill, Soulard, Dogtown, Lafayette Square, University City, and dozens more neighborhoods: St. Louis is hipster central.


  52. - CEA - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 3:38 pm:

    I don’t think St. Louis has a large enough liquid labor pool to support Amazon’s HQ2 needs, but its central location, low cost and excess airport capacity at STL and BVL might at least get it onto the candidate list. Like Detroit it has lost a lot of urban population so its infrastructure is on the overbuilt side, which is more attractive than the situation in smaller “boom cities” which are struggling to accommodate growth that has already happened, let alone new growth. I’d rather see Amazon go to Chicago, but if Chicago is eliminated I’d rather see them in St. Louis than in Atlanta or Dallas.


  53. - Anonymous Hipster - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 3:45 pm:

    St. Louis should stick to bottling Chicago’s runoff coming down the Illinois River basin from the I&M Canal and selling it as Budweiser.

    Tech talent wants world class cities, not backwaters. Yeah, there are some hipsters. So? It’s a second-rate city, and all of you downstate nutbars are just playing out your usual Cubs-Cardinals, sniveling revanchism because you’re jealous of the social and economic capital held entirely north of I-80.


  54. - illini - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 3:51 pm:

    — “downstate nutbars” —

    I’m tempted, but do not want to give this troll the honor. Anyone else?


  55. - Blue dog dem - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 3:58 pm:

    What the heck is a ‘hipster’?

    Never mind. I found it…cool,groovy dude.


  56. - Skeptic - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 4:12 pm:

    “St. Louis also has a little river running through it” Actually, it has two.

    “runoff coming down the Illinois River basin from the I&M Canal” To the best of my knowledge there’s no meaningful flow from the I&M canal into the Illinois River. Besides, St. Louis also has Schafley which makes some darned good beer.


  57. - blue dog dem - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 4:15 pm:

    Excuse me, but isn’t Goose Island brewed with overflow from Wrigley?


  58. - Smalls - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 4:23 pm:

    Chicago does not have a chance of landing Amazon. In case you have forgotten, they implemented this little thing called the cloud tax (OK, an administrative expansion of the amusement tax) a few years ago, which is still being fought in the courts. Amazon really doesn’t like that. So they certainly wouldn’t condone such a tax by locating their second headquarters in a city with this tax.


  59. - ejhickey - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 4:52 pm:

    “Toronto. World class, infrastructure, culture, tech resources and health care off the back of the employer. No worries with immigration whims. ”

    some good points, Global. Also Toronto has a larger population than Chicago and a larger pool of tech workers. One thing they don’t have that Chicago has: A Trump Hotel


  60. - Ginhouse Tommy - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 4:54 pm:

    Word There is a solid work force in the St Louis Metro area and I’m sure many will cross the river to work there. This is also Amazon and the name alone will attract many new college grads to work there. There are many colleges and universities in the Midwest to fill that work force. Again the big attraction is that this is Amazon and this is its new hi-tech HQ. That alone will attract a flood of applicants. If it were any other company I would agree with you.


  61. - denisquared - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 5:05 pm:

    This is absolute crap. I can’t believe that he uttered this out loud. You know why Chicago won Boeing? Because Ryan and Daley worked together. This goofball is going to blow it. Mr. Business is going to blow the biggest deal he could get. This is just more of his let’s pit downstate against Chicago. He has to go.


  62. - dbk - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 5:28 pm:

    I’m a big supporter of the idea of economic development in southern Illinois, but … St. Louis just doesn’t have the labor pool Amazon needs to draw 50,000 high-tech employees with an average salary of $100000. They’ve basically overwhelmed Seattle, which has a much larger urban population than St. Louis (actually, double St. Louis’).

    There’s also the issue of the “major international airport” requirement (less than 45 min. from headquarters). Amazon is looking for daily - at minimum - direct flights abroad.

    From the many pieces I’ve read on the topic, it more or less emerges that only four cities in the U.S. (Toronto’s obviously not included) fully meet all of Amazon’s criteria. They are D.C., NYC, Philly and Chicago. Of the four, only one currently has large tracts of urban property re-zoned and available for full development as Amazon renewable-sustainable campuses.


  63. - wordslinger - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 6:08 pm:

    Gt, I’m of the opinion that Amazon knows where they want to go and is just ginning up a “competition” to maximize the corporate welfare.


  64. - Global - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 8:52 pm:

    Canada has some interesting immigration laws. So if someone works for say a company like Amazon for a year, in Canada they get status should the company move there. Amazon has facilities in Canada. Elections have consequences, indeed.


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