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Detroit’s bid delivered to Amazon with video

Candice Williams
The Detroit News

Detroit has delivered its bid for Amazon.com Inc.’s second North American headquarters with a promotional video that illustrates the city’s beauty, grit and spirit.

“Motor City resides at intersection of muscles&brains, ideal place for @amazon,” billionaire investor Dan Gilbert said in a tweet Thursday that linked to a 3-minute, 35-second video that can be viewed at www.detroitmovestheworld.com.

The film by Detroiter Stephen McGee is a kaleidoscope of scenes from Detroit and Michigan: The Eastern Market. Dancers in the streets of southwest Detroit. Laborers and engineers. Classic Detroit cars and robotic shuttles. Pine trees and the Great Lakes. Birds-eye views of the freeway system and the bridge to Canada.

Poet Jessica Care Moore of Detroit delivers an inspiring narrative of the city’s history, its innovation and its international connection with Windsor.

“Detroiters are born moving,” Moore says. “Our wings have a deep history. Our roads paved the way for every future highway of tomorrow. An international hub full of vitality. Of Michigan strength. From the global reach of techno and Motown to the powerful rev of our engines. From style trends, to technology. Detroit is the starting line of the world’s imagination.”

Moore drives the point home with the closing lines: “Design here. Design the world. Build here. You’ll build the world. Create here. Create the world. Move here. Move the world.”

It’s a timely message aimed at Amazon.

Last month, Amazon announced plans to invest $5 billion and create 50,000 high-paying jobs averaging $100,000 a year in a second headquarters that Amazon calls “HQ2.” The announcement sent cities across the country scrambling to put together proposals, including one assembled by a 59-member committee led by Gilbert.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan weighed in Thursday afternoon about the bid effort and said it’s the result of a regional and international collaboration he’s never witnessed before.

“It’s been a truly inspiring process to see so many business, civic and governmental leaders come together toward a shared goal like this,” Duggan wrote on his Facebook page. “That, in and of itself, is one of our proposal's greatest strengths. Each of the partners in this process worked extremely hard over long days and nights to pull this proposal together.

“Everyone should be very proud of what they've accomplished over the past few weeks. They have put together a strong pitch that shows the very best of Detroit, Windsor and our shared region and why it deserves to be the home of Amazon’s new headquarters. I look forward to hearing back from Amazon in the coming weeks, hopefully with details about our next steps in the selection process.”

Details of the bid have not been revealed. However, officials touted the city’s proximity to Windsor as part of a “bi-national” proposal as well as the city’s revival.

Whitney Eichinger, vice president of communications for Rock Ventures, Gilbert’s real estate arm, said: “Detroit has a vision for the future... We are redefining the future of mobility, innovation, business and culture. With unparalleled infrastructure, unlimited access to resources and innovative talent, Detroit’s momentum is undeniable.”


Twitter: CWilliams_DN