KC’s Amazon HQ2 proposal team already eyeing another pitch for tech giant Apple

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City's not going to be the home of Amazon's second headquarters, but city leaders are going to use the experience to improve their next proposal for another tech giant.

During the Amazon proposal process, KC received a lot of positive feedback from Amazon, but the online retailer hasn't said why the city didn't make its Top 20 list released Thursday.

City Manager Troy Schulte said it may have been Kansas City's lack of public transit and the percentage of the population engaged in tech. The majority of the 20 remaining locations are large East Coast cities, and the ones around KC's size like have major urban universities, which is very important to the tech industry.

"We have known for a while that we needed a strong major urban institution, and obviously that means continuing to lobby and focus for more investment at UMKC, which is obviously best able to grow into that capacity," Schulte said.

Tim Cowden, president and CEO of the KC Area Development Council and the main author of the HQ2 proposal, said they're disappointed but not discouraged.

"One of the great residuals from the Amazon HQ2 process is we got so much great publicity," he said.

Now, he said, people across the country know about Kansas City.

Kansas City's HQ2 proposal has not yet been made public, but it was a two-state, 15-county effort involving about 200 people.

Parts of that proposal might soon be used for another big pitch. Apple is the next tech giant expected to expand and open a second U.S. headquarters.

"'Nothing ventured, nothing gained,' is a saying of mine, and so we are going to try, and if there is a proposal for Apple's second headquarters, guess what? Kansas City is going to be part of the mix," Schulte said.

And, thanks to what they've learned, those involved in the Amazon pitch are optimistic for Kansas City's future.