Five stories that have North Texas talking: Texas has its eyes on Amazon; a Confederate statue in Dallas can come down; gallery openings galore this weekend; and more.
Dallas is one of many cities vying to be Amazon’s second home.
The Seattle-based company announced Thursday that it will spend more than $5 billion to build another headquarters in North America to house as many as 50,000 employees.
The Dallas Regional Chamber plans to send Amazon a proposal, The Dallas Morning News reported.
"We are reviewing the [Request for Proposal] and look forward to showcasing for Amazon the many reasons why there is no better place than right here for Amazon's HQ2," Mike Rosa, senior vice president for economic development of the Dallas Regional Chamber, told the Morning News.
"We will aggressively demonstrate that Dallas and our surrounding area would be the perfect spot for their expansive business needs. Amazon already has an extensive amount of business here. They've been good corporate citizens and we look forward to future conversations."
Amazon didn’t hint where it’s looking specifically but has some parameters that could rule out some cities:
- Be near a metropolitan area with more than a million people.
- Be able to attract top technical talent.
- Be within 45 minutes of an international airport.
- Have direct access to mass transit.
- Be able to expand that headquarters to as much as 8 million square feet in the next decade.
Even if Amazon passes over Dallas, the Lone Star State could have a pretty good chance in landing the company. Austin's also interested in the bid; Amazon just purchased the city's grocery chain, Whole Foods Market. CEO Jeff Bezos has plenty of other ties to the state, including his own Blue Origin facility in West Texas.
The state plans to "continue to aggressively court Amazon in hopes that it expands its footprint in Texas and establishes its new headquarters here," Gov. Greg Abbott spokesman John Wittman said.
Cities have by Oct. 19 to submit their proposals, and Amazon will make its decision next year. [The Associated Press, The Dallas Morning News, D Magazine, NPR]
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- An 81-year-old statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in Oak Lawn's Lee Park can now come down. In a hearing Thursday, U.S. District Judge Sidney Fitzwater ruled the statue's removal didn't violate First Amendment rights. He also said the Dallas City Council didn't break its own rules when it voted Wednesday to remove the statue. [KERA News]
- A new Texas law allows people to hunt feral hogs and coyotes from hot air balloons, but apparently, many balloonists aren’t offering the activity, citing logistical challenges. “I have never had a phone call from anybody asking to do this,” said Pat Cannon of Lewisville, spokesman for the Balloon Federation of America. “I think that people have not stopped laughing yet.” [The Texas Tribune]
- Hank Carter, the head coach of the Lake Travis High School football team, makes $155,156 a year. That’s not only the highest salary among high school football coaches in Texas but also $30,000 more than the principal at Lake Travis and almost triple the average salary of the school’s teachers. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]
- There are so many gallery openings in North Texas this weekend. You’re likely not going to get to it all, but here’s a guide to get you started. [Art&Seek]