Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Halifax Pitches Abandoned Military Site for Amazon Campus in Declassified Report

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Halifax Pitches Abandoned Military Site for Amazon Campus in Declassified Report

Article excerpt

Abandoned military site pitched for Amazon HQ

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HALIFAX - A declassified Halifax regional council report reveals new details of the city's longshot bid to woo online retail giant Amazon, including offering the site of a former military community.

The confidential report, discussed by council behind closed doors earlier this month, lays out Halifax's planned bid to attract the e-commerce and cloud computing giant's second North American headquarters.

The report includes a proposed location, financial incentives, labour force details and quality of life attractions.

"A successful Amazon bid would meet the objectives of any local government from an economic development perspective," the report said. "It would attract, keep, and grow talent, investment, and jobs, and it would increase incomes and tax bases."

The report said the municipality was considering submitting Shannon Park as the site for the new Amazon headquarters.

The abandoned military enclave in Dartmouth is more than 30 hectares of waterfront real estate across two bridges from Halifax's core.

The location, owned by the federal Canada Lands Company, has opportunities for mass transit, active transportation, and sustainable building technologies like seawater cooling and heating, the report said.

It's also located next to a nearly four-hectare site owned by Millbrook First Nation, and the staff report said discussions were held to potentially include the land in the bid.

Amazon said it requires more than 500,000 square feet of office space by 2019, and up to 8 million square feet beyond 2027.

Meanwhile, the Cogswell District, a mixed-used development slated to replace a sprawling concrete interchange on the northern edge of downtown Halifax, could cater to Amazon's workforce.

It could accommodate 2,500 residents, about five per cent of the planned 50,000 employees, the report said.

Halifax's staff report also said a nearby industrial park, close to the airport and major highways, could service Amazon's logistics and warehouse activities. …

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