COLUMBUS (AP/WCMH) — Columbus is the only Ohio city still in competition for Amazon’s multibillion-dollar second headquarters.
“The New York Times said they were surprised that Columbus was on the short-list and it’s no surprise to us,” said President and CEO of the Columbus Partnership Alex Fischer.
The online retailer announced Thursday that it has narrowed its list of possible locations to 20. Cleveland and Cincinnati also put in bids for the planned headquarters, but didn’t make the cut.
Amazon said 238 cities submitted proposals for the project that the Seattle-based retailer says could lead to a $5 billion investment and 50,000 new jobs.
Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said in a statement Thursday that Columbus provides the skilled workforce, educational institutions, infrastructure and culture of collaboration needed and will continue to “compete hard.”
Ohio Gov. John Kasich said “it’s good that we’re making these lists.” He says the state will see what it can do to help Columbus land the final bid.
Fischer said Amazon hasn’t said what the next steps are, yet. He said they’re anticipating getting feedback from the company sometime this week.
But for now, he said they’re assessing their competition and being careful to always make smart investments.
“We’re always very careful about not to try to do things that are outlandish, but rather doing things that work in partnership with any company that we work with in our community,” said Fischer.
He said Columbus is “winning” the economic development game, wooing Amazon with a talented and driven workforce, low-cost of living and a great place to raise a family.
“Like our Smart Cities win, where we displaced many of the same competitors that we’re competing against… this gives us an opportunity to raise our profile and compete on this world stage,” said Fischer. “We’re not in this to play for second fiddle. We’re in it to win it.”
Kenny McDonald, president and CEO of Columbus 2020, released a statement Thursday:
We’re thrilled to continue working with Amazon on HQ2. The Columbus Region has grown at an unprecedented rate by collaborating and prioritizing economic development and today’s news reflects that. We’re proud that Amazon has recognized that the Columbus Region is brimming with talent, competitive and prepared to serve market-leading, world-changing companies. We’re ready to get to work on the next phase of the process.
The full list of cities includes:
- Austin, Texas
- Columbus, Ohio
- Los Angeles
- Montgomery County, Md.
- Nashville, Tenn.
- Newark, N.J.
- New York City
- Northern Virginia
- Raleigh, N.C.
- Washington, D.C.