Greater City Providence

ProJo: R.I. releases details of pitch for Amazon ‘HQ2’

Rendering of a proposed renovation of the Superman Building for the Amazon HQ2 bid

Rhode Island leaders hoped to deliver Amazon’s “HQ2” into downtown Providence’s vacant “Superman Building”.

In response to a Providence Journal Access to Public Records Act complaint, the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation Thursday released a lightly-redacted copy of the state’s unsuccessful bid to land the e-commerce giant’s proposed $5-billion second headquarters, a pitch centered on Rhode Island’s tallest building.

“Traditional roadway upgrades would be conducted and fully-integrated public transit options would be complemented by ambitious pilot programs and innovative infrastructure developments,” it said.

Specifically, the state offered to build an autonomous bus network with dedicated lanes to serve Amazon’s new offices.

And an unnamed airline that serves T.F. Green Airport had agreed to add routes there to Seattle and San Francisco if Amazon moved to Providence.

The article goes on to state that among further infrastructure improvements, expanded Narragansett Bay ferry service was offered.

I can see the temptation to throw all these things on the table to try to attract 50,000 new jobs, but where are the proposals to try to land 10,000 or 20,000 new jobs incrementally? Why aren’t we making higher speed commuter rail service to Boston and within state a priority? Why not expand ferry service now? What are we doing to create more housing for the workforce we hope to attract?

[alert type=”success”] Download Rhode Island’s redacted Amazon RFP response (29.7 MB) [/alert]

Jef Nickerson

Jef is Greater City Providence's co-founder, editor, and publisher. He grew up on Cape Cod and lived in Boston; Portland, Maine; and New York before settling in Providence. In addition to urbanism, Jef is interested in art, design, and ice cream. Please feel free to contact Jef if you have any question or comments about Greater City Providence.

1 comment

  • I know it’s not real, but I can’t believe skinning 111 Westminster in “crystalline glass” would meet historical preservation guidelines. That’s pretty repulsive to me (and I like modern architecture and mixing old and new.) Hopefully the work and thought put into the proposal can be repurposed to court others 🙂

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