Garden Grove

GG, Santa Ana in hunt for Amazon HQ2

GARDEN GROVE and Santa Ana are jointly wooing Amazon for its proposed second North American headquarters (Flickr/Mike MacKenzie).

By Jim Tortolano

Garden Grove – in conjunction with Santa Ana – is throwing its hat into the ring in the competition to provide a location for Amazon’s proposed $5 billion “second headquarters.”

At Tuesday’s meeting of the Garden Grove City Council, Mayor Steve Jones announced that the two cities were submitting a joint response to the request for proposals issued by the corporate giant which has risen to become the largest retailer in the world.

The deadline for submission of the RFP responses is Oct. 19.

What the combined cities have to offer is the 101-acre Willowick Golf Property, which is owned by Garden Grove but located within Santa Ana city limits on Fifth Street.

“We figured this is a good exercise, a good opportunity to get something down on paper – Amazon or not – to market,” he said. He and City Manager Scott Stiles traveled to Sacramento to meet with state officials about possible state incentives to attract Amazon to California.

While Jones conceded that it might be a long shot, “I don’t think it’s an exercise in futility,” he said, noting that the research and groundwork needed to woo Amazon would also be useful in attracting other high-tech firms such as Blizzard and Broadcom which might be interested in relocation or expansion.

Amazon is seeking a second North American campus and has invited overtures from across the continent. According to Jones and Stiles, at least 30 California cities – Irvine among them – have expressed an interest and presumably many more nationwide.

WILLOWICK Golf Course is owned by the City of Garden Grove but located within Santa Ana city limits.

The online and high tech giant has established some criteria for “HQ2,” including nearby access to a major airport, proximity to major universities, an educated workforce and space for housing employees as well as office facilities.

Amazon is also expecting a financial contribution from any host city, such as free land or other compensation.

Garden Grove and Santa Ana could point to the John Wayne Airport, Cal State Fullerton and UC Irvine as examples of how the area could meet some of Amazon’s requirements.

A joint meeting of the Garden Grove and Santa Ana councils is expected to be held in November to consider possible joint re-use of the property. In addition to the Amazon complex, other possibilities raised have included a sports stadium, an amusement park and a large mixed use development.

RV fines approved but delayed

A schedule of fines for those who violate a new ordinance which require a city-issued permit to park a recreational vehicle on city streets and alleys was approved on Tuesday night, but the fines won’t be issued until Nov. 1.

At the suggestion of Council Member/Mayor Pro Tem Phat Bui, the fines – $108 for a first offense, $208 for a second offense within a year and $508 for a third (or more) offense within a year – won’t be levied until after the end of October, and warnings issued instead.

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