Amazon Passes Over Cleveland, Adds Columbus To Its Cart
Cleveland did not make the top 20 list of the cities where Amazon may build its second headquarters. But one of the local officials involved in the bid sees it as a learning experience.
The City of Cleveland, the county, and various economic development groups had to scramble last fall to try to attract Amazon and its promised $5 billion dollar investment and 50,000 jobs.
Columbus – which made the cut -- reportedly offered 15 years of no property taxes, reduced income taxes, and a promise to develop its new transit system around Amazon.
Senior Vice President Deb Janik of the Greater Cleveland Partnership won’t reveal what was in Cleveland’s offer but said they had to pursue it.
“I’m very glad this community went through the process. I believe it was absolutely worth it,” Janik said. “Right now we’re all pulling for Columbus. [I'm] glad Ohio is in the race, and we’ll get behind supporting them and their efforts in having Ohio call HQ2 home.”
There were some questions over whether so many organizations – the Partnership, Team NEO, Jobs Ohio -- could work together but Janik said the focus was on the prize.
“I'm proud to be with those partners. Everybody was really rowing in the same direction and we’ll continue to utilize these teams going forward.”
The next big plum going forward could be Apple’s second headquarters, but Janik said they haven’t started that conversation yet.
“We learned lessons from the process and we will use the numerous elements, assets from the proposal to attract future business to this community, be it Apple or anybody else.”
Some of the cities that did make the Amazon list have offered a pretty steep price. Newark, New Jersey, reportedly is willing to put up $7 billion dollars in state and city money. The cities nearest Cleveland that also made the top 20 list: Pittsburg and Indianapolis.