Home Money Could Amazon’s #HQ2 land in your hometown?

Could Amazon’s #HQ2 land in your hometown?

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Online shopping giant Amazon has announced a North American bidding war for its second headquarters. Of the 238 proposals it received, seven came from Ohio.

Seven Ohio cities, including Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland, have submitted proposals to build Amazon’s second headquarters, HQ2.

Amazon announced a North American bidding war for its second headquarters in September, requesting that all proposals be submitted by Oct. 19. Expecting to invest $5 billion into its construction, Amazon says HQ2 will provide 50,000 high-paying jobs.

The new headquarters “will be a full equal to our current campus in Seattle,” the company said.

Amazon said it has received “238 proposals from 54 states, provinces, districts and territories within North America.”

The company provided seven pages of proposal guidelines containing a combination of requests for the chosen city. A city with at least 1 million residents, a “stable business climate for growth” and a strong population of “technical talent” are just a few.

According to the Associated Press, senators Rob Portman, Sherrod Brown and all 16 representatives of Ohio’s Democratic and Republican parties urged Amazon’s founder and CEO Jeff Bezos to choose an Ohio city for HQ2 in an Oct. 5 letter.

The letter pointed to many of Amazon’s requests for HQ2 that Ohio meets, including a “business-friendly” environment, skilled workforce, strong transportation system and higher education network.

At a September conference, Gov. John Kasich brought up his relationship with Bezos, saying the CEO recently made him breakfast. But Kasich made clear in an October WOSU radio interview that Ohio wouldn’t go out of its way to land Amazon’s HQ2.

“If (Amazon does not) pay back the investment of the state over a reasonable period of time… we don’t offer them the deal,” Kasich said in the interview. “And we don’t get in a race with other states to buy deals.”

Cincinnati and Dayton have submitted a joint proposal that includes parts of northern Kentucky. In an October press conference, Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley expressed strong belief in his region’s chances.

“We can win the Amazon.com bid,” Cranley said.

“I’m not here to promise you we will win, but I promise you that we will be taken seriously and that we have a real chance to win this bid.”

According to The Columbus Dispatch, Columbus’ proposal includes “property-tax abatements, income-tax refunds and a transportation plan.” The proposal did not provide a specific location for the headquarters, but mentioned the Ohio State University.

“If awarded to Columbus, the project would further validate the strength of the Columbus market, afford new employment opportunities to thousands in our community and create the opportunity to explore new, innovative educational partnerships,” Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said in a statement.

In another statement, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and County Executive Armond Budish referenced the city’s selection for last year’s Republican National Convention.

“We were an underdog during that process, yet we won,” the statement reads.

“We are confident that working together we can highlight what sets us apart from the competition. This opportunity will have tremendous near and long term impact on the city and the region.”

Toledo also submitted a joint proposal with Maumee for HQ2, in addition to a separate proposal from July for a new Amazon distribution facility. According to a statement from Toledo Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson, Toledo and Maumee’s joint proposal was released to the public, unlike proposals from Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati. Toledo’s proposal includes over $700 million in incentives, the 58.5-acre Hawthorne Hills for $1, 521 acres within Maumee and more land near the Fallen Timbers.

Maumee also submitted its own proposal, focusing on Fallen Timbers land and a different set of incentives.

The city of Niles — with a population under 20,000 — also submitted a proposal, offering the 105-acre Enterprise Park for $1 and $20 million in funding.

Amazon’s Seattle headquarters currently employs over 40,000 people and is responsible for an estimated $38 billion added to Seattle’s economy, according to their application request.

According to The New York Times, only one North American city, Denver, Colorado, meets all of Amazon’s requests.

Amazon says it will announce its decision in 2018.

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