The Los Angeles Coalition for the Economy & Jobs – Weekly Report – October 15, 2017

L.A. Coalition members – Soraya M. Coley the President of Cal Poly Pomona and Miguel Santana, the President and CEO of the Fairplex are teaming up with Los Angeles County and the city of Pomona, to submit a bid to be home to a new campus for Amazon’s “HQ2”, a project that would create 50,000 jobs in the region.

Amazon launched the search for its second North American base because its current headquarters, which covers 33 buildings in greater Seattle, is brimming with 40,000 workers following the company’s remarkable growth that lifted its sales to $136 billion last year.

So far, cities across the U.S., including Chicago, St. Louis, Pittsburgh and the city of Los Angeles have expressed interest in bidding for the project.

Their Coalition will hold a press conference tomorrow to officially discuss the bid.

In assessing what they have to offer – see below – I think they have a strong case to make to Amazon’s leadership, or to any other company that can see the opportunities that are available in this region of L.A.

The Pomona Region is the Perfect Location for Amazon’s HQ2  

  • Pomona has a rich past – situated along a trade route used by Native Americans – and today it is recognized as a vibrant, safe, beautiful community of the arts and artists, students and scholars, business and industry.
  • Pomona’s communities offer cultural attractions; vibrant communities, affordable housing, educational opportunities, transportation options, entertainment choices, recreation, and a diverse mix of industries, from healthcare, professional services, technology, to name a few.
  • Pomona’s central location enjoys the benefits and advantages of both the Los Angeles- Long Beach-Anaheim Metropolitan region – population 13M and the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario Metropolitan Region – population of 4.3M.  Collectively, this represents a population of nearly 18 million.
  • Pomona has a strong business-friendly environment, experiencing stable and positive economic growth in recent years, having added 62,000 jobs between 2012 and 2016. Growth is occurring in healthcare, professional services and technology.
  • Pomona is in close proximity to the country’s second largest city – Los Angeles and within L.A. Metro Region, whose economic power would be ranked fifth among states. Since 2010, some of the region’s most globally competitive industries linked to software, media, entertainment, and healthcare have secured more than $2.6 billion in new venture capital funding.
  • Amazon PolyPlex would be located centrally in the San Gabriel Valley, an area comprised of small and large cities each with its own rich history and mature cultural and educational institutions. Each community has a distinct character and together they offer diversity in, culture, housing type and affordability, recreational amenities and educational opportunities.
  • The location of the site located in the business friendly City of Pomona, has a unique zoning designation that permits a wide variety of commercial retail and fair related uses. 
    Additionally, the County of L.A. and the State of CA are capable of providing numerous government incentives to stimulate and facilitate the development of the Amazon PolyPlex.

L.A.’s World-Class Infrastructure Connects People, Goods and Ideas 

  • Amazon PolyPlex’s location would provide access to L.A.’s world class transportation and logistics network, which includes major airports – LAX, Ontario, John Wayne, Burbank, Long Beach and Brackett Field, a general aviation airport; three interstate freeways, a regional train network -Metrolink and the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which when combined are the largest port in the United States and the main access point to the world’s marketplace.
  • In the near future, it will also be in close proximity to LA Metro’s two new Gold Line stops, which are part of L.A. Metro’s $120 billion investment in the region’s public transportation system to connect people to all points regionally.
  • L.A. Metro’s Gold Line would provide employees access to Amazon PolyPlex from the suburban communities of Claremont and Montclair to the east and western connectivity to the San Gabriel Valley cities of Azusa, Monrovia, Pasadena South Pasadena and the regional commuter hub at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles.
  • Amazon PolyPlex is at the intersection of five major southern California freeways: the I-10 leads to Downtown LA or Palm Springs; the SR60 leads to Riverside or the City of Industry; the SR57 leads to Orange County and Anaheim; the SR71 leads to Corona; the I-210 leads to Pasadena and the San Fernando Valley; and the historic Route 66.

Leveraging the Region’s Anchor Tenants

  • Amazon PolyPlex would be situated on one of the most valuable properties in Los Angeles County – with a current facilities portfolio valued at over $1 billion.
  • Amazon PolyPlex, would align perfectly with the Fairplex’s in development strategic plan that will promote commerce, entrepreneurship, education and entertainment through quality programs and in partnership with organizations with shared values of providing economic and community benefit to the region.
  • Amazon PolyPlex’s would have access to the Fairplex site with nearly 500 acres that could be redeveloped to accommodate Amazon’s requirements and is well suited to adapting to and accommodating the impacts of Amazon HQ2.
  • Amazon PolyPlex would have the opportunity to partner with Cal Poly Pomona (25,000+ students and a 1,725 acre campus), a polytechnic university tied for 4th place nationally in The New York Times “Upward Mobility Top 10” identifying “America’s Great Working-Class Colleges” (Jan. 2017) and ranked 4th among public universities in the West by U.S. News and World Report “Best Colleges 2018.”
  • Cal Poly Pomona’s experiential, applied, and learn-by-doing polytechnic educational philosophy ensures graduates are ready to succeed in the professional world on day 1.  With nationally recognized computer engineering, computer science, computer information systems, cyber security, business administration, accounting and social and behavioral sciences, Cal Poly Pomona offers more than 60 majors and degree programs.
  • Amazon PolyPlex, would have an opportunity to partner with Cal Poly Pomona’s Innovation Village, a premier corporate and research park that provides a unique environment for industry to partner with Cal Poly Pomona researchers, faculty, and students (www.innovationvillage.org).  The 65 acres property includes 13 companies including the American Red Cross Biomedical Services Southern California headquarters, Southern California Edison, and several tech start-ups.
  • Amazon PolyPlex would have an opportunity to work with Cal Poly Pomona’s sustainability experts at the Lyle Center, which houses a diverse groups of students, academic experts, policy makers and community members committed to catalyzing pro-environmental change.
  • Amazon PolyPlex’s would have the opportunity to work with Cal Poly Pomona’s California Research & Education Network (CalREN), which is capable of providing access to a world-class fiber connectivity. This infrastructure serves as a mega data superhighway, and it allows for large data streams flow from one research site to another.
  • Amazon PolyPlex’s would have the opportunity to partner with Cal Poly Pomona on the development of 309 acres parcel of land known as the Lanterman Development Center that is located approximately one mile from the main campus.
  • Amazon PolyPlex Access and proximity to Hollywood may be a valuable benefit for Amazon’s HQ2. Both Lanternman and Fairplex are actively used for film and commercial shoots.  The exhibit halls at the Fairplex serve as enormous sound stages, the historic buildings and campus at Lanterman makes it an attractive filming location, and both are within the Hollywood per diem radius for filming as defined by the Screen Actors Guild.

A Workforce Pipeline

  • Amazon PolyPlex would have access to the much sought after Cal Poly Pomona’s highly talented student body, which are focused on a number of degree programs that are aligned with Amazon corporate needs, including Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Computer Information Systems, Aerospace Engineering, Accounting, Logistics, Business Administration and areas of focus such as Cyber Security, Robotics, Information Assurance, various aspects of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and underwater remote controlled vehicles.
  • Amazon PolyPlex would have the opportunity to align with ongoing partnerships with regional higher education colleges and universities within the San Gabriel Valley, we will be able to deliver educational programs jointly to meet the needs of the Amazon skilled workforce. This educational corridor provides a significant talent pool to recruit from, in a broad spectrum of disciplines from Community Colleges (such as Mt. San Antonio College with 60,000 students which is adjacent to Cal Poly Pomona) to Public as well as Private higher educational institutions (such as Caltech and the Claremont Colleges).
  • Amazon PolyPlex would have the opportunity to draw from the region’s talent pool. LA has the world’s largest higher education system with 112 college and university campuses which produce more Ph.D.s and graduate degrees than any in America, and they are home to the world’s greatest research institutes and concentration of Nobel laureates, MacArthur fellows, and members of the National Academies. LA’s network of five Cal State campuses now educate 110,000 students; they will celebrate their role in graduating the Cal State system’s 3 millionth student this year. The Los Angeles metropolitan region has also been successful, attracting 664,000 new 25-to-34 year olds with a bachelors degree in 2012 (a 30.4 percent increase since 2000).

Quality of Life

  • Amazon PolyPlex is also conveniently located within Southern California. People have been known to be in the snow and in the ocean on the same day.
  • Amazon PolyPlex would have access to the Fairplex’s successful Early Childhood Education (Fairplex Child Development Center and Cal Poly Children’s Center) and Career Technical and Vocational Education (Fairplex CTEC) programs.
  • The Child Development Center at Fairplex is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and works in partnership with the early childhood education program at nearby University of La Verne.  The Center serves Fairplex employees, University students and staff, and families throughout the region, and is recognized for building stronger children, teachers and parents through its comprehensive curriculum programs.
  • The Fairplex also features a Career and Technical Education Center that serves community high school students and adults with career readiness and technical education training that aligns with needs of local industries.  Students complete programs in myriad pathways with industry certifications and hands-on experience preparing them for career success.
  • At Fairplex the development can take full advantage of all that being on the Fairplex site has to offer including its history of organic gardening, sports fields, the on site Sheraton Fairplex Hotel, restaurants, the 40,000 square foot Sheraton Fairplex Conference Center.
  • The CalPoly site offers the advantages of being adjacent to and partnering with a significant educational institution that will offer customized curriculum for employees, a pool of graduates and interns, and the Kellogg West Conference Center and Hotel which is located right on campus.
  • The Cal Poly campus also has a number of amenities, such a recreational center, performing arts theater, art gallery, and a 5-star restaurant, called The Ranch, with panoramic views of the valley. Famous regional chefs are engaged with the College of Hospitality which also has collaborations with major hotel chains.