Amazon pitch video casts Chicago as ‘a destination for dreamers and doers alike’
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Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office beamed up a William Shatner-narrated pitch video for Amazon officials who were in Chicago this week to scout possible locations for the nationally coveted HQ2.
The 95-second video begins with white specks ethereally floating against a black background before the words “Amazon makes its second city The Second City” move to the forefront.
Shatner works to establish parallels between Chicago’s history — rebuilding after the fire in 1871 — and Amazon’s humble beginnings in a garage in 1994.
“Before the architects finished the plans, we began rebuilding and reinventing ourselves as an economic powerhouse; a thriving ecosystem of transit and tech; an icon of culture and community; and a destination for doers and dreamers alike,” Shatner says, as rapid fire shots of Chicago’s expressways, architecture and notable city landmarks flash on the screen.
“But, here’s the thing: We’ve still got the fire in us, and you’ve still got the garage in you,” he adds.
City Hall tapped Shatner — best known for his role as Capt. James T. Kirk — because Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is an avid fan of Star Trek.
The visit from Amazon leaders was kept under lock and key.
Sources told the Chicago Sun-Times last week that Amazon had carved out time to visit the Lincoln Yards site that includes the old Finkl Steel plant among 100 acres along the Chicago River; the 78, a 62-acre site at Roosevelt and Clark once owned by convicted felon Tony Rezko where Gov. Bruce Rauner dreams of building an innovation center led by the University of Illinois; and the fast-growing and transformed Fulton Market District.