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Amazon Officials Went On Site-Seeing Tour Of Pittsburgh About A Month Ago, Peduto Says

Megan Farmer

Officials from Amazon visited Pittsburgh for a one-day trip about a month ago, Mayor Bill Peduto has confirmed. 

He said the trip was focused on real estate options for the site of the company's second headquarters, or HQ2.

It's been four monthssince Amazon announced its shortlist of 20 finalist cities, which also includes Philadelphia. Peduto described the visit by officials as in-and-out.

"I felt like we were one of the latter visits, that they had been doing this as a small core team for quite some time, and they still had a couple more to do after us," he said. 

During their visit, Amazon officials saw half-a-dozen sites for its potential HQ2. The mayor did not discuss what sites were visited.

Peduto said there was no discussion of the incentives offered in the city's bid during the visit, the secrecy of which has been a source of contempt and protests. But he said the Amazon team did push for details on city data.

"Everything you that you could think of  that would be based upon transportation, distances and times from major roadways, to public transportation access and bike lanes," Peduto said. "Public schools, graduation rates, everything you could think about that somebody would want to know, and wanting specific numbers."

The mayor said the visit shed no additional light on Amazon's decision-making process, and the city has no knowledge of how Amazon will choose from the 20 finalist cities.

"If they're looking at a regional city like Indianapolis, Columbus, Pittsburgh, I think we have a really good shot, and I still feel that way after their visit," Peduto said. He added that if Amazon is looking for a "world class," multi-million person city such as New York or Atlanta, Pittsburgh will not be high on the company's list.

Peduto said he's been told Amazon will make a decision by the end of the year.