Fort Worth

Fort Worth’s offer to Amazon topped $1 billion for HQ2. How did that measure up?

See why DFW thinks it should get Amazon’s HQ2

DFW looks to prove that North Texas is the ideal location. Here's what the Dallas-Fort Worth area has to offer the tech company.
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DFW looks to prove that North Texas is the ideal location. Here's what the Dallas-Fort Worth area has to offer the tech company.

The city offered Amazon $443.2 million in incentives to place its second headquarters, known as HQ 2, in Fort Worth.

When state and county incentives were included, the city’s offer would have been slightly more than $1 billion, sources said.

Seven sites and site combinations were proposed, including Sundance Square, Panther Island, AllianceTexas, Walsh and Clearfork.

“I think our package was competitive to other communities,” said Brandom Gengelbach, executive vice president of economic development of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, in a statement.

But it was less than what the winning bidder of Long Island City in New York state that offered $1.5 billion, while Arlington, Va., ponied up far less at $573 million. Nashville, which will get a smaller footprint of 5,000 jobs, offered $102 million in incentives.

As a comparison, Dallas offered up to $1.1 billion in incentives, including $600 million from the city and $500 million from the state, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Fort Worth’s Tarrant County neighbor to the east, Arlington, offered the use of Globe Life Park and performance-based incentives valued at a projected $921 million that included a grant for hiring Arlington residents, a 100 percent real and business personal property tax abatement for 10 years and a waiver of building and impact fees. That also included state, county incentives and a $200 million from parking revenue.

“It’s like the Super Bowl, there are lots of bright lights and extra attention, but it’s the same game you’ve played a thousand times before,” Gengelbach said. “You don’t win or lose a project on incentives alone. The criteria and approach businesses use to determine a potential expansion or relocation do not change.”

Fort Worth’s offer also included reimbursing up to 90 percent of incremental taxes on real and business property for a 20-year period. Tarrant County offered to abate up to 70 percent over a 10-year period, which would have had a maximum value of $65.7 million.

Fort Worth would have also required Amazon to create 10,000 jobs.

Fort Worth’s bid was included in a regional pitch for the entire Dallas-Fort Worth area, and the region may take new ideas from the Amazon pitch, such as a split headquarters between Dallas and Fort Worth that takes advantage of the Trinity Railway Express to connect both cities.

“We are currently working with more than 60 potential projects for the Fort Worth area that range in employee count and investment, with 25 percent of the pipeline from existing businesses,” Gengelbach said. “We are also managing projects and doing deals in communities outside of the Fort Worth city limits, communicating with our regional partners almost daily.”

Animated video showing Arlington's pitch for the proposed Amazon second headquarters.

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Bill Hanna is an award-winning reporter who has covered just about every beat at the Star-Telegram. He currently covers Arlington but also writes about a variety of subjects including weather, wildlife, traffic and health.


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