Online retail giant Amazon is looking to expand into an additional corporate headquarters, and President Eisgruber feels that the University might have something to offer in the process.
On Oct. 12, Eisgruber wrote a letter to Jeff Bezos ’86, founder and CEO of Amazon, and Jeffrey Wilke ’89, Worldwide Consumer CEO of Amazon, encouraging the company to consider New Jersey as a potential site for its second North American corporate headquarters.
“Princeton University is growing its connections with the innovation ecosystem in New Jersey, and I wanted to share with you some of the synergies that might benefit Amazon if you were to join us in the state that we are proud to call home,” Eisgruber wrote in his letter.
Amazon’s current headquarters — a complex composed of 33 buildings and home to over 40,000 employees — is located in Seattle, Washington, according to the company’s website.
“Amazon estimates its investments in Seattle from 2010 through 2016 resulted in an additional $38 billion to the city’s economy,” the website notes.
The new headquarters has the potential to create even bigger economic gains.
“Amazon will hire as many as fifty thousand (50,000) new full-time employees with an average annual total compensation exceeding one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) over the next ten to fifteen years, following commencement of operations,” a Request for Proposals released by Amazon on Sept. 7 said.
On its site, Amazon listed eight key factors that are driving its selection for an additional headquarters site: site/building, capital and operating costs, incentives, labor force, logistics, time to operation, cultural/community fit, and community/quality of life.
In his letter, Eisgruber stressed the cultural resources and recruiting benefits that a location in New Jersey would offer.
“Princeton University is increasingly engaging with corporate and other external partners throughout the state, and we would welcome an exploration with Amazon of areas ranging from potential research collaborations and innovation initiatives, to possible internship or recruitment programs,” he wrote.
The Amazon Request for Proposals also noted that proximity to “excellent institutions of higher education” would be a positive factor in a site’s proposal.
“The Project requires a compatible cultural and community environment for its long-term success. This includes the presence and support of a diverse population, excellent institutions of higher education, local government structure and elected officials eager and willing to work with the company, among other attributes,” the Request for Proposals noted.