Amazon will soon open a new facility in Palatine, Illinois and get a tax break to do so. That is normal. This other part caught my attention: the suburb hopes Amazon’s arrival helps spur more development.
Amazon will move into a warehouse and distribution facility under construction off Hicks Road south of Northwest Highway, and Palatine officials hope the online retail giant’s arrival sparks more development in that industrial area.
“This is a good bit of news for us, for sure,” Mayor Jim Schwantz said Monday. “It’s the right kind of use for that area. It’s a light draw on our services. It’s not going to take a ton of water. It’s not going to take police or fire calls. We know Hicks Road is built to be able to handle the additional traffic.”
Lots of communities want Amazon to move in. They bring jobs, they fill warehouses, and they bring a big name. Just remember all the cities that put together plans to try to allure Amazon HQ#2.
But, this is another dimension of having a successful company move into your community: it could lead to further growth. Having Amazon puts you on the map. Companies could choose from dozens of warehouse or manufacturing locations in the Chicago region. But, if Amazon is already there, this may attract other firms. Success begets success, growth leads to more growth.
Another example, perhaps two decades in the making: suburbs and neighborhoods all wanted a Starbucks. Not only would this bring in sales tax revenue and more shoppers. It put a place on the map. It suggested the place was cool enough, was up and coming or had an established set of well-off residents. Starbucks could pave the way for other similar businesses that would bring in or provide for a certain crowd.
Or, think about headquarters. These facilities may not have that many employees or may just be an office building but being home to headquarters, as opposed to branches or locations, is something special. Headquarters attract headquarters. They signal something.
A typical Amazon facility is not going to be flashy. It is not going to attract many visitors or shoppers. However, it will add to a community’s tax base, provide jobs, and help the community say they are home to one of the most important companies in America. That Amazon distribution center may be the start to something greater.