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Amazon Announcement Puts Spotlight on Site Selection. Here’s Why.

Sep 11, 2017 Tim Cook, JD
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Site selection might not be the first thing to come up at a cocktail party, but news of Amazon looking to build a second U.S. headquarter with as many as 50,000 employees has the country buzzing over potential locations. In Indiana specifically, speculation surrounding the Circle City has the media fascinated with what it takes to land such a deal.

Indianapolis has pros, cons as potential Amazon HQ2 contender

The answer, in my opinion, is simple: If Central Indiana can meet the workforce demand, then Indianapolis can absolutely contend for this project. While the city cannot fill 50,000 new jobs immediately – no major metro area can, not with unemployment at a 16-year low – if it is able to prove it can meet this demand over time, then Indy’s other plusses put the metro area on par with other competing sites:

  1. Long and successful history working with Amazon in attracting multiple distribution centers
  2. Great business climate
  3. Republican Governor Eric Holcomb and Democrat Mayor Joe Hogsett, who have a demonstrated ability of working well together to close big economic development deals quickly (see Infosys)
  4. Engaged and collaborative corporate community that prides itself on exceeding expectations (see 2012 Super Bowl)

In addition to demonstrating its workforce capabilities (and demonstrating to a Seattle-based company that a Midwest city has the quality of life and amenities to attract high-caliber talent), other critical boxes will have to be checked, including a site expansive enough to house a campus of this magnitude; a monster incentive package; and other to-be-determined regulatory, business, or tax issues that will likely take decisive legislative action.

The competition for the biggest economic deal in recent U.S. history is going to be off-the-charts. But the economic impact on the winning community state cannot be overstated – the prize is huge.