Following Amazon’s Announcement, Tulsa Will Continue to Aim High

This article was archived on 2/24/2018

Following Amazon’s announcement this morning, Mayor G.T. Bynum said Tulsa will continue to aim high and aspire for great things.

“I am grateful a world class company like Amazon gave us a chance to compete,” Mayor G.T. Bynum said. “I am thankful for all the Tulsans who believed in putting our best foot forward. We will keep aiming high, keep competing with the best, and Tulsa will be better for it in the long run. On we go.”

Tulsa’s proposal for Amazon HQ2 was submitted by the Tulsa Regional Chamber and City and community leaders offered guidance to put forth a strong and competitive proposal that would be a direct reflection of the community. 

“While it’s disappointing that Tulsa didn’t make the shortlist for Amazon HQ2, the effort was certainly worthwhile,” Mike Neal, president and CEO of the Tulsa Regional Chamber said. “Pitching for one of the largest headquarters projects in the world taught us a great deal about Tulsa’s competitive strengths. The process highlighted additional opportunities for collaboration to attract future investment, and we’re thankful for such great partners like the City of Tulsa, Oklahoma Department of Commerce, our regional education institutions and others. Northeast Oklahoma has seen a sizeable recent increase in economic development activity that indicates the potential for significant growth in the coming years.”

When Tulsa started to contend for Amazon HQ2, local leaders wanted to tout the many programs and initiatives that would not only help Amazon grow in Tulsa, but would positively impact the entire community. Below are a few examples of what the City provided for the proposal:

  • Community Culture – Focused on the drive to build an inclusive city that has world-class arts and entertainment assets like New York, Chicago and Atlanta. Examples include: Arkansas River development, Gathering Place, New Tulsans Initiative, Resilient Tulsa and MOSAIC. Highlighted Tulsa’s national recognition as a Beta City – innovators in the nation with the first municipal airport in the country, art deco skyscrapers and Tulsa’s current effort to address racial disparities.
  • Labor – Touted the innovative programs in place such as BEST, Tulsa Achieves and early childhood education as programs that lay the foundation for a strong workforce. Additionally, there are currently 780,000 people within the Tulsa region that hold an occupation relevant to HQ2 and 32,000 students graduating annually with relevant degrees.
  • Public Investment Initiative – Mayor Bynum committed to work with the Tulsa City Council and Amazon leadership to potentially put forth a proposal to citizens that would invest in public infrastructure for a corporate campus and further build upon the community assets that will bolster Tulsa’s ability to attract existing companies and high skilled workers. 
  • Site Location – Identified location at 23rd and Jackson, which is currently owned by the City, as a prime location for the Amazon corporate campus with the close proximity to the Arkansas River and Gathering Place.
  • Transportation – With the current infrastructure in place, the Tulsa International Airport has the ability to add 20 daily non-stop flights, which is enticing to large companies such as Amazon. Proposed pioneering autonomous vehicle public transit, a proposal which led to the establishment of an autonomous vehicle taskforce.