Shoemaker wants Amazon in the Sault

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Ward 3 councillor Matthew Shoemaker will present an idea to council on Monday that will get some heads spinning.

Shoemaker wants the twin Soo’s to host Amazon’s second headquarters.

Amazon announced it is looking for a home that has at least 100 acres  for a 500,000 sq foot building.

Several bigger centres have already started to get Amazon’s attention but Shoemaker thinks the Sault would be the perfect spot for Amazon and the hundreds of jobs that come with it.

Shoemaker made the announcement on Facebook Friday morning, Here’s what he posted.

Amazon is looking for a City to host their 2nd headquarters. I’ve got a better idea for them: Twin Cities that share the same name, an international border, and lots of other advantages. Of course, I’m taking about the Twin Saults. It might seem crazy at first, but here are some reasons why it works:

Amazon wants a 100+ acre site for a 500,000 + sq. ft. building – ✓ – Innovation Centre has identified 4 sites that fit the bill in Sault Ontario.

Amazon wants access to major highways – ✓ – the Twin Saults offer access to the Trans-Canada Highway and the I-75 and entire US interstate system.

Amazon wants to be near an airport – ✓ – How about 2 airports? One on each side of the border that can bring you to Toronto then anywhere, or Detroit then anywhere.

Amazon wants access to mass transit – ✓ – If they build in the Sault, we’ll bring Sault Transit to them.

Amazon wants access to population centre – ✓ – As with the airports, we are a quick 1-hour flight from Toronto and Detroit. People will come to Amazon.

Amazon wants transportation availability – ✓ – Can’t beat the Twin Saults here, access to rail in Canada and the US, access to Great Lakes shipping that can reach 40 million North Americans.

Amazon wants access to labour force – ✓ – Sault College, Algoma University and Lake Superior State University can train the workforce of Amazon’s future.

Amazon wants quality of life – ✓✓✓✓ – the Twin Saults cannot be beat in this category. Agawa Canyon, Soo Locks Boat Tours, Skiing, Hiking, Snowmobiling, Boating, Swimming, Kayaking, Camping, Beaches in every direction, Provincial and State Parks surrounding us, Hub Trail, Pump Track, Skating Rinks and so much more!

Amazon likes sustainability – ✓ – we’ve got the greenest energy around, solar, wind and hydro. We’re the Alternative Energy Capital of North America, we have less power outages than elsewhere in Ontario. When the power does go out, it comes back on quicker than the rest of Ontario.

Other factors we have going for us:

Affordability – Want a house in Sault Ontario? That’ll be $200,000 (Canadian). Want a house in Sault Michigan? That’ll be $75,000 (US).

Environment – No hurricanes, no tornados, no wildfires, no rising sea levels. We are shielded from extreme weather (sometimes we have to shovel a fair bit).

We are already the Headquarters for the OLG, and it generates $2 Billion per year in net revenue.

These are just some of the reasons why Amazon should be in the Twin Saults. A full package will be put together to submit to them if Council passes my motion on Monday.

What do you think of Shoemaker’s idea? sound off in the comment section below!

29 COMMENTS

  1. I for one think this is a great idea. With the sears building closed now there is alot of space (14 basketball courts I believe) that needs to be filled up and any amount of job growth is bennificial for the sault. I say continue repairing/rebuilding roadways, get a more diverse buisness portfolio within the city, and continue forward.

    “If you build it, they will come”

  2. Generally a waste of time. Here is why… https://www.brookings.edu/blog/the-avenue/2017/09/08/amazons-red-herring/
    I hate to be negative, but the reality is this:
    The transportation infrastructure to/from the Sault is not good enough. We have a two lane highway heading north, and east that is closed due to weather, accidents, washouts, construction multiple times a year. The highway going south is U.S. – a nice 4 lane highway, but 5 hours away from a more logical location – Detroit. Our rail system is poor as well, speed limits of 10 miles an hour of some of the old CP line running east. Amazon would want close proximity to customers – mainly those in the U.S. – we are too far north, and in a different country – hence there would be border crossing/customs issues. Our airport is also too small for what Amazon would need for shipping/receiving product. Our airport has just two runways and they are short and can’t accommodate anything much bigger than a 737. Shipping via water is not really an option – meant for bulk carriers moving ore, grain, etc.

    The only thing our city might hope to gain by submitting a proposal is that someone sees it and some other smaller office gets set up. City staff should be really looking for more small business to set up; reasonable sized companies that can benefit from the things the Sault has to offer. Help the small businesses get bigger. Asking for a company to come in that will employ 50,000 people in a town of only 70,000 total is a pipe dream. Any future major employer – with employees of a few hundred or more that arrives in the Sault, won’t just “arrive” they’ll have to be grown here.

  3. If you can make it happen go for it. The city needs more. More jobs is always good. The system is way to easy for people to abuse. Get them jobs and work.

  4. Even it it falls through, it’s a great step in believing what the soo has to offer. Use the process to build other bid profiles for other emerging companies. Gain the confidence of the city and market this belief to the citizens.its all or nothing and everyone should throw there support in re-purposing this region.

  5. Wow! The negativity in this little town is growing right out of touch!! I feel sorry for those without hope for the future. I blame it on government, including our city Council for not bringing work here. At least Shoemaker is trying, and why not? Offer Amazon free property to set up here. Our money would flow from the operations.
    Try it it might work!

  6. WE NEED A THOUSAND MORE PEOPLE LIKE SHOEMAKER!
    HEY, WE ARE ALSO THE STRATEGIC HALF WAY POINT ACROSS CANADA. THERE IS AN OFFICIAL SIGN AT
    THE CHIPPEWA FALLS ON HIGHWAY 17 NORTH THAT STATES THIS.

    NOTHING VENTURED NOTHING GAINED.

  7. “Sault College, Algoma University and Lake Superior State University can train the workforce of Amazon’s future.”

    HAH. Amazon is a real tech company, our college grads might be qualified for a warehouse job if they replaced a few hours of the “how to use a microsoft product” class with forklift training.

    Realistically they’re too busy making backroom deals with the anti-innovation center to compromise our youth’s education for short term kick backs.

  8. Why do people in the public service say such stupid things? The Sault has as much chance of landing Amazon HQ2, as Station Mall does getting a replacement Retail Tenant for the vacant Sears space…for crying out loud, try leaving the Sault for 5 days, go ANYWHERE else and see what the real world looks like. Good gosh…

    • Burn-E. Frank Fata did offer you a ride outta town. Hopefully it’s a one way ticket. It may even stop in Iron Bridge.

  9. I am of the belief that no idea is a bad idea until it becomes a bad idea. If the Sault could meet the expectations required by Amazon then we would have as good a chance as anyone. I have read the RFP(Request for Proposal) because as with any other plan put forward by our City Council members, I like to educate myself prior to comment. The jury is still out on this one. The question right now is whether our EDC or Innovation Centre have looked at this already. Here is the link to the RFP for your educational reading.

    https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/G/01/Anything/test/images/usa/RFP_3._V516043504_.pdf

  10. Thanks for thinking outside the box Matt. The naysayers can, please, sit back in their easy chair and do what you obviously could do best; remain deaf, mute and d_ _ _. It’s Matt’s kind of thinking that eventually results in positive action,…..RESULTS. Constructive criticism can certainly be appreciated. Destructive criticism is not. If you are the latter, I can suggest this to you, there’s a Greyhound bus leaving SSM at least twice a day. Enjoy the ride………….

  11. This would be great, but our city would never jump on the opportunity. We would also need a much more efficient transit system than the one we have know. Sadly, that won’t happen either. Good luck!

    • You need ridership to sustain a transit system. Sault Ste Marie doesn’t have it. And most who do use it comes from taxes anyway. You can’t expect a city to dump cash for something not used very much

  12. Hating on the Sault is not in anyone’s best interest. Seems to be a hobby now. I was born and raised here, spent 27 years in Southern Ontario, and I am very glad to be back home.

  13. Closed minded people with non productive negative thinking is something the Soo can do without. I’ve been here for 17 years and from the first day I got here all I hear is negative things about this city , from business owners to it’s citizens. Bashing your city gets around on the grape vine and discourages people from coming here with their new ideas and businesses. Maybe Amazon won’t even take a peek at the Soo but at least some people are trying to think outside the box and promote the Soo as being progressive and modern. The citizens of the Soo need to show more pride in their city even if we lack alot of the sparkle of more progressive towns of similar size. You can’t lose if you don’t even try !

    • Closed minded and realistic are two totally different things.
      Shoemaker is full of fantasies and loves to babble about them, he is quite annoying to say the least.
      Just like fantasies of bringing Costco and other big businesses to the Sault, it’s not ever going to happen.
      Try concentrating on whether or not we will have a steel mill by next year and that will tell the tale as far as the future of this city.
      All indicators point to it being nothing more than a retirement town and if the mill closes, a retirement town with a much smaller population than there is now.

      • Ah spoken like a overpaid Steelworker about to lose his overpaid position. Well. Guess ya will have to move over for the next generation there grandpa.

  14. they are looking at toronto and montreal because they have the infrastructure and workforce base to handle a tech giants head office. the soo has spent the last 40 years making this a crap place to be anything but a tradesman and exported all our academics to other cities.

    shoemaker is an aspiring provincial or federal politician so he has to look like he’s doing something other than cutting our local services.

  15. At least he is thinking outside the box….How else do you you invent or try and innovate ? Good job Matt….at least you are trying and not just sitting at home complaining.

  16. Shoemaker is a heel with delusions of grandeur, who loves to babble on.
    Let’s get back to the real world. Amazon would have nothing to do with this little dot on the map in the middle of nowhere.

    • Once again. The dying tradeworker takes a last swing at new job opportunities. If you can’t be paid well for little work why should anyone else have a chance. The workforce is a huge factor on why that place has gone to ####. Entitlement.

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