Pomona Fairplex proposed as the site of Amazon’s new headquarters

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Every year, the Pomona Fairplex opens its grounds to millions of Southern California residents and visitors looking to chow down on fried food or watch some good old fashioned pig racing at the LA County Fair. And now, Fairplex operators want to open part of the 487-acre campus to Amazon—all year round.

On Monday, Fairplex, Cal Poly Pomona, Los Angeles County, and the city of Pomona announced a joint-proposal to bring Amazon’s much-hyped new headquarters to the heart of the Pomona Valley.

Under the proposal, Amazon’s second headquarters, which the company plans to build out to more than 8 million square feet, would be housed primarily at the Fairplex itself—with the fair’s exposition halls, farm buildings, and historic Works Progress Administration-built structures available for reuse or redevelopment.

Whether Amazon’s arrival would mean the end of the fair isn’t totally clear; a frequently asked questions page related to the proposal simply says that “the PolyPlex proposal identifies the Fair and Fairplex activities as a tremendous opportunity to connect the organization’s mission and core business to Amazon, a company deeply committed to consumers and commerce.”

Meanwhile, neighboring Cal Poly Pomona would make parts of its campus available, including a corporate research park called the Innovation Village and the 309-acre Lanterman Developmental Center—a former home for residents with developmental disabilities that closed in 2015.

Pomona might seem like an unlikely choice for Amazon, which has been wooed by a very long list of cities since announcing plans for the facility in September. But Fairplex CEO (and former Los Angeles city administrative officer) Miguel Santana says that the city checks “all the boxes” when it comes to Amazon’s needs.

In a statement, Santana notes that Pomona has “available land, an educated workforce, world class colleges and universities, affordable housing, proximity to rapid transit and international airports, and [is] strategically located at the intersection of one the largest, most diverse and dynamic metropolitan areas on Earth.”

The proposal will have plenty of competition—even from other parts of LA County.

The same day that Amazon announced plans for the new headquarters, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that Los Angeles would submit a bid for the massive new development, expected to employ 50,000 workers when fully built out.

Los Angeles City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield even suggested a spot for the huge office complex: the former Rocketdyne plant in Warner Center.

Amazon will continue accepting proposals until October 19.

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