$106M incentive package, Paul Martin Building part of Windsor's offer for Amazon HQ

Mayor Drew Dilkens said the city is offering Amazon tax incentives, along with space in the Paul Martin building on Ouellette Avenue and the possibility of a cross-border ferry to transport employees between Windsor and Detroit.

Windsor's offer is based on Amazon locating 5,000 employees in the city

An employee exits the warehouse floor of the warehouse in Hyderabad, India. The company is looking for a new second headquarters, and many Canadian cities have thrown their hats into the ring. (Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Windsor is offering a $106-million incentive package, a prime downtown location and the possibility of a cross-border ferry as part of its joint bid with Detroit for Amazon's new headquarters — if the company locates 5,000 workers in the city.

The online retail giant kicked off an international hunt for its new location in September and reported it received 238 proposals from communities across North America eager to play host.

Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens told CBC News he feels the package the city is offering is "fair, reasonable and aggressive." 

"The bid document is exciting," he said. "We've talked about ferries, we've talked about gondolas, we've talked about how we can link one campus in two different countries and make this a seamless experience for Amazon."

Dilkens confirmed the city will be offering Amazon tax incentives, along with space at Paul Martin building on Ouellette Avenue which could operate as a temporary location while the company builds its headquarters.

His chief of staff, Norma Coleman, said the estimated $106-million incentive package includes property tax increment financing, government grants and corporate income tax credits.

An image from the Facebook page of Detroit's bid for Amazon's HQ2. (Detroit Moves/Facebook)

Windsor and Detroit have also agreed to operate a ferry or other method of transportation between the two cities to carry employees back and forth across the Detroit River.

Windsor's offer is based on Amazon placing 5,000 employees in the city.

Like buying a lottery ticket

Michigan is offering to let the company operate in Detroit with tax breaks for 30 years and to capture Amazon's employees' state income taxes for another 20, among other incentives, according to a report in Crain's Detroit Business, which a spokesperson for Rock Venture media — owned by Detroit billionaire and joint-bid leader Dan Gilbert — confirmed to CBC News.

"The whole Amazon bid is kind of like buying a lottery ticket … you know the jackpot is huge and for 10 minutes you sit down and unpack all of the things on your wish list, your bucket list," said Dilkens, who added putting together the joint-offer with Gilbert gave him goose bumps even though he knew how much the area has to offer.

"When we reduced it to writing, and put it on paper and I read it I thought, 'Wow this is even more compelling,'" he explained.

"We want Amazon, don't make any mistake about that, but that story is so compelling for us to take and tell to anybody else  … you could replace it with … Google or Microsoft or any other business that's global," said Dilkens. "I believe good things will happen as a result of going through the process."