Amazon increasingly wants to be its own deliveryman

FILE - In this Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016, file photo, Amazon.com boxes are shown stacked near a Boeing 767 Amazon "Prime Air" cargo plane on display in a Boeing hangar in Seattle. Amazon’s announcement on Monday, Jan. 30, 2017, of a new air cargo hub in Kentucky is the latest way the e-commerce retailer is dipping its toe, or perhaps whole foot, into building out its shipping and logistics unit. If successful, the move ultimately means lower costs for Amazon but it could eventually pit Amazon against package deliverers like FedEx and UPS. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

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Baton Rouge may not have the population or infrastructure Amazon is looking for in a new corporate headquarters, but that won't stop officials from making a push.

The city isn't a big player in the hunt to lure a new $5 billion office, but the gigantic online retailer loomed large in discussions from flooding to police work in the latest Metro Council meeting.

The company is seeking a site that meets several criteria. Baton Rouge doesn't have an international airport or the one million residents Amazon has listed in their requirements, said Donnie Miller, director of business development for the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. But, he said, the city could make a pitch for a "South Louisiana" office that would also take New Orleans amenities into account.

The Council signed off on a resolution urging the huge online retailer to consider East Baton Rouge for its next office, asserting that the parish "has a stable and business-friendly environment, has urban and suburban locations with the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent, and is a (community) that thinks big and creatively when considering locations and real estate options."

The resolution passed with little discussion — at first. Yet when the council considered more divisive items, speakers frequently invoked Amazon's name.

The retailer won't want to move to a community that's willing to stifle growth, said opponents of a failed flood zone building moratorium. A progressive company like Amazon won't want to move to a city where the people don't trust the police department, said critics who were there to speak out about the recently discontinued practice that allowed officers under investigation to work certain extra duty.

What Amazon actually thinks remains to be seen until the company picks a site to complement their existing Seattle-based operations, which likely will be next year. The New York Times recently looked at the requirements, crunched the numbers, and identified Denver as the most attractive option.

Follow Steve Hardy on Twitter, @SteveRHardy.