We gave Cerner 1.75 Billion in incentives for a 4.45 billion dollar project set to create 16k jobs. Amazon wants to spend 5 billion to create 50k jobs. A quick google search shows that Amazon engineers and managers make a good bit over 100k ( I understand this won’t be all jobs). I think it is safe to say that many jobs will be higherpaying based though. Lets say 30k of the 50K make 100,000 a year and the rest make 60,000 a year. In the first year with all 50,000 employed, the cities earnings tax would raise 42,000,000 million in the first year. I think this estimate is potentially somewhat conservative.
30K x 100K + 20k x 60k = 4,200,000,000. 4.2 Billion in yearly salaries added to KC. 4.2 Billion to spend on apartments in the Cordish Wall. 4.2 Billion to spend on flights from our airport. 4.2 Billion to spend at the plaza, on gas, at a local diner, the grocery store, etc.
Yet I don’t believe Tax Incentives are the way to go. What we need instead is improvements to infrastructure. Our 2 critical missing links are a NEW KCI and a Rail Transit System.
A mix of dedicated right of way light rail, street running light rail, and maybe even commuter rail could be built.
I envision a dedicated row light rail backbone running from below Amazon’s New Towers in the North Loop Through the new residential or Amazon developments in the East Village that merge into the center lane of US 71 Highway. Currently, the median is about 50 ft wide. Chicago’s median running trains use about 43 feet along most of their routes except at stations that use 70 ish feet.
Image 1 in Red shows Potential Dedicated ROW Light Rail. The streetcar(yellow) is expanded down main South of the Plaza. Additional Streetcar Routes would Cris cross east and west across the city connecting to the main street streetcar and the US 71 Light Rail. In Theory, Streetcars would feed into the Main Street Line and the LIght Rail.
I really think that without some sort of plane that deals with improving transit, we can’t win. While this plan would cost in the billions, so too would the incentives that we would otherwise give to this group. We could offset risk by building out the system in increments as Amazon builds out their HQ.
Last edited by ldai_phs on Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.