The city of Stonecrest in DeKalb County, Georgia is fairly new, voted into being by referendum in November 2016. Its first batch of elected officials came in just this March, and the only significant sights in town and nearby are the super-regional Malls at Stonecrest and the 954-foot Arabia Mountain monadnock. But when it comes to how far they will go to convince the world’s biggest online retailer to set up shop, Stonecrest is no slouch. In an audacious move to invite Amazon to build their new corporate headquarters in town, the City Council is approving a motion to carve out part of their land area for the company to build HQ2 on and name it after them to boot.

Just like Toyota

When Amazon dropped the bombshell of their plans to select a North American city to build their second corporate HQ on, it was assumed that only major cities in the US and Canada would seriously present proposals to host the e-commerce juggernaut. New York City, Chicago and even Georgia’s state capital Atlanta are throwing their hats into the ring, but Stonecrest – part of the Metropolitan Atlanta area – is going all out to present itself as a contender despite having only 53,000 residents against Amazon’s criteria of over a million people.

On Monday, October 2, the Stonecrest City Council voted 4-2 on de-annexing 345 acres of land from their open land area and giving it all to Amazon (they need only 8 million square feet). To sweeten the deal, they are taking a page from the Japanese city formerly known as Koromo, renamed since 1959 to Toyota after Toyota Motors which has several manufacturing plants in that area.

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The plan is to rename the land offering “Amazon City” if Amazon will build HQ2 there, with Stonecrest then providing vital services and an employee pool to the massive corporate hub.

Branded city

Stonecrest City Mayor Jason Lary explains it best when trying to put the rather desperate-sounding proposal in a positive light. “There are several major US cities that want Amazon,” he said. “But none has the branding opportunity we are now offering this visionary company.” How then could the online marketplace giant resist the idea of having their own city in Georgia named after them as the site of their HQ2? It sounds rather epic.

Amazon’s criteria for the site of their HQ2 calls for a city (Stonecrest passes) with over a million residents (not enough), easy access to an international airport (nearby Atlanta has one) and the best offerings of relocation grants, tax credits, and fee reductions. In return, they are offering around 50,000 "high-paying" jobs, a major economic coup for the lucky location. The company, which retains its HQ1 in Seattle, Washington, will make a final decision on the winning city proposal by October 19.