JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMOX) — The state of Missouri is backing both St. Louis and Kansas City’s proposals to lure Amazon. But, in a surprise twist, the state is also submitting a separate proposal of its own.
Drew Erdmann, Missouri’s Chief Operating Officer, is challenging Amazon to think beyond their request for proposals criteria.
Amazon’s timeline looks out over the next 10, 15, 20 years, and during that period Erdmann says there could be development of an “innovation corridor” between St. Louis and Kansas City with Columbia in the middle.
Self-driving cars and rapid mass transit mean the Missouri landscape could be drastically different in two decades.
The CEO of Hyperloop One, which is considering a St. Louis to Kansas City route that would get passengers to-and-fro in less than a half hour, supports the idea. That effort is a public-private partnership.
“It’s a bold idea, it’s a challenging idea, and in essence what Missouri is doing is asking Amazon to think more boldly than even their original proposal,” Erdmann said in a conference call with reporters.
Amazon wanted one proposal per metropolitan area. However, Erdmann said they specifically explained their idea to Amazon representatives who encouraged them to give it a try.
State officials, citing a non-disclosure agreement and state law pertaining to business negotiations, could not talk about what, if any, incentives would be given at the state level — or what kind of incentives will be offered to support either Kansas City or St. Louis’ individual bids.
They did say, however, that staffers were fair in discussions with both cities, and even had most of their conversations with both at the same time.