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As Amazon deadline nears, Mayor Bill Peduto to meet with agency working on bid

Aaron Aupperlee
| Monday, Oct. 16, 2017, 12:30 p.m.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has received pitches for awarding a second headquarters for Amazon.
REUTERS
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has received pitches for awarding a second headquarters for Amazon.

Cities around the country are polishing — or scrambling to finish — their bids for Amazon's second headquarters.

The bids for the Seattle company's second home and the 50,000 jobs and $5 billion in investment that could go with it are due Thursday.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto was scheduled to meet with Dutch MacDonald, digital director at Maya Design, at the agency's Downtown office. The city hired Maya Design to work on the bid, offering to pay the firm up to $248,000.

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald has met consistently with Maya and other consultants to give feedback and input on the bid and to make sure the team was on track to submit the bid this week, said Amie Downs, a county spokeswoman. Fitzgerald visited Seattle last week to meet with city leaders and Steelers fans in the Emerald City, according to a post on the Seattle Steelers Nation's Meetup.com page .

Peduto last week said he and Fitzgerald spoke with an executive at Amazon who likely will play a major role in picking the site of HQ2. The conversation left Peduto feeling positive.

“We were able to see that many of the prospects that we're looking at in our proposal lined up with the vision of what Amazon wants to see,” Peduto told the Tribune-Review last week .

Pittsburgh continues to make short lists of possible Amazon locations. Moody's last week ranked Pittsburgh fifth on its list of top 10 metro areas for HQ2. Austin topped the list, followed by Atlanta, Philadelphia and Rochester, N.Y. Moody's considered credit ratings, tax policies, willingness to give incentives, economic growth rates, education and college degrees, real estate and business costs, the availability of art, entertainment, recreation and restaurants, access to public transit and average commute times to make its list.

Another category, geography, wasn't based on hard statistics but rather on factors Moody's analysts believe Amazon is looking for in its second home. If you added the “geographic wild card,” as Moody's terms it, Pittsburgh shoots from fifth to second.

In a companion piece to its rankings , Adam Ozimek, a Moody's analyst, wrote that Pittsburgh's universities, low costs and available sites make it a good fit while state and local fiscal problems and potential struggle to attract new workers may be downsides.

Aaron Aupperlee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at aaupperlee@tribweb.com, 412-336-8448 or via Twitter @tinynotebook.

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