Sandy Springs – unlike neighboring Brookhaven and Dunwoody — will not be entering the bidding wars for Amazon’s new corporate headquarters, according to Mayor Rusty Paul, who says there’s just nowhere to put it.
“The truth is, the Perimeter market doesn’t really have the amount of space necessary,” as defined by Amazon’s qualifications, Paul said in an interview. “We don’t have it in Sandy Springs, that’s for sure.”
The only possible site in Perimeter Center, he said, is the High Street site at Hammond Drive and Perimeter Center Parkway in Dunwoody, whose owners are indeed putting in a bid, according to Dunwoody officials. That property’s owners, Boston-based GID, have a long-stalled mixed-use redevelopment plan for the 42-acre site’s existing vacant lots and office buildings.
Paul said that, despite the High Street site sitting right on the Sandy Springs-Dunwoody border, neither GID nor Dunwoody city officials have spoken with him about the Amazon bid.
“It’s an invisible line, but it’s a real one,” Paul said with a smile about the city boundary.
While Sandy Springs is not submitting an Amazon bid, Paul said, the city is “cooperating” with state economic development officials on the overall submission package, which is expected to include many bids from various metro areas. He explained that means letting Amazon know that Sandy Springs can offer support and space for related offices or businesses, rather than the main headquarters.
In Brookhaven, the owners of Northeast Plaza, a large shopping center on Buford Highway, said city officials privately contacted them to get cooperation in an Amazon bid, but the owners are not interested.
Seattle-based Amazon announced on Sept. 7 that it is accepting bids for a gigantic second headquarters, setting off a nationwide frenzy of self-promotion and secret planning in various cities.
Amazon states it would invest over $5 billion in construction and employ up to 50,000 people in the massive new headquarters. The request for proposals calls for enough room for buildings of more than 500,000 square feet to be built by 2019 and up to 8 million square feet beyond 2027. The bid submission deadline is Oct. 19.