Georgia city offers to rename itself Amazon to secure headquarters bid

The smell of desperation is in the air.

CC Kārlis Dambrāns

A city in Georgia has offered to rename itself after e-retail giant Amazon if the company will settle its new headquarters in the area.

Amazon is looking for a 175-acre site for new headquarters as part of a global expansion plan, and in order to secure it, Stonecrest City Council, located in DeKalb County, Georgia, is willing to do anything.

Stonecrest is a new city which was formed officially earlier this year. Close to the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the area is home to roughly 34,000 residents, the majority of which being white-collar workers.

According to local media, the council voted 4-2 on Monday to form the city of Amazon if the company chooses the site for the "HQ2" project.

"There are several major US cities that want Amazon, but none has the branding opportunity we are now offering this visionary company," said Stonecrest Mayor Jason Lary. "How could you not want your 21st-century headquarters to be located in a city named Amazon?"

Stonecrest will be competing against Vancouver, Toronto, Atlanta and other major cities across the country. The area is home to a nature reserve, mall, several schools and a national heritage site, but little else at present -- which may cater to Amazon's wishes and a possibility to expand as necessary without incurring the high real estate costs of land in areas such as New York.

Amazon plans to spend up to $5 billion developing the headquarters in North America and will hire thousands of workers to construct HQ2. The retail giant says that its investments in Seattle from 2010 through 2016 resulted in an additional $38 billion to the city's economy.

These figures likely appeal to Stonecrest officials, who said at the time the city was formed, residents could "expect great things."

Nonetheless, this bid does seem somewhat desperate -- even if it does dangle a very attractive branding carrot in front of Amazon's nose.

It also brings to mind Japan's Toyota City, which was once a thriving economic area which those fresh from college aimed to work in, at least before the global recession seriously impacted sales.

The opportunity could be incredible for Stonecrest, but as we've seen what happens when companies take over an area -- if not fully, at least in ideology -- such as in San Fransisco, there should be caution in such bids.

In related news, in recent weeks a couple from the United States plead guilty to swindling electronics worth $1.2 million from the retail giant. The pair set up fake accounts, ordered high-value electronics such as GoPro cameras and game consoles, before pretending that the items were damaged. Amazon then sent replacements, which were sold to someone else involved in the criminal scheme.

Previous and related coverage