ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – East St. Louis catches Amazon fever, hoping to figure prominently in the regional pitch to woo retail giant here.
East St. Louis Mayor Emeka Jackson-Hicks says downtown East St. Louis has river access, rail access, airport access and rooms with a view.
“My vision for Amazon is to locate here and to become a part of the community, and be a huge economic engine for the region,” she says.
Amazon has also said it wants light rail access, which runs through East St. Louis. The leaders of St. Louis city and county, and St. Clair County, Illinois are working on a proposal to tout the selling points of the region.
The on-going Stockley protests throughout the St. Louis region could certainly hurt its chances to attract the retailer.
Didi Caldwell is with Global Location Strategies, which is in the business of helping companies find new places to expand.
She says that kind of decision often depends on a candidate city’s quality of life.
“Anytime you have some kind of a negative aspect like that being portrayed in the media, it weighs on people’s minds and it may influence their decision,” she says.
But Caldwell stops short of calling the unrest in the streets a definite deal-breaker for St. Louis, saying that large companies like Amazon tend to think long-term and take the bigger picture into account.