Cleveland Not In The Running For Amazon HQ2, But One Ohio City Is
Cleveland did not make the cut for Amazon HQ2, though Columbus did. The state capital is now part of the rarefied group of 20 finalists from which Amazon will pick a winner later this year.
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson strove to put the best face on things with a statement Thursday, which said in part:
"The City of Cleveland and our partners submitted a collaborative and strong proposal to attract Amazon HQ2. This is a highly competitive process and although we are not one of the 20 finalists, this city and this region continue to be an attraction for global business."
The details of Cleveland's proposal to Amazon have not been made public. The city and Cuyahoga County have been mum on the matter since last fall, and now presumably it is moot.
For its part, Central Ohio's bid for Amazon HQ2 was a team effort by Columbus 2020, JobsOhio and the city of Columbus, stressing the region's educational institutions — especially Ohio State and its tech nodes — local corporate leadership, and that Columbus competed against 77 cities nationwide to win the Smart City Challenge in 2016.
Incentives sweetened the pot for Central Ohio, including property tax abatements that would mean a savings of about $457K for every $1M in capital expenditures by the retail giant. The city of Columbus also would offer job-growth incentives tied to the number of employees hired for the new HQ and create a transit fund to make infrastructure improvements at Amazon's site.