Economic Development

Regional Chamber Submits Proposal for Amazon’s HQ2

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – There are scores of cities vying to be chosen as the site of Amazon’s second headquarters and, now, the Mahoning Valley is officially in the mix as the Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber has submitted a proposal to the web giant.

The economic development agency did not announce which site it had selected to submit to Amazon, but said it proposed the use of “the top site in the two-county area.”

“Though this opportunity may seem out of reach for our market, this type of collaboration is exactly what it takes to effectively compete for these opportunities,” said chamber chief operations officer James Dignan in a release. “The long-term goal of all of our partners is to ultimately advance economic development and the related activities supporting the growth of jobs in the Valley.”

Contributing to the proposal were Dignan, chamber President and CEO Tom Humphries, chamber vice president of economic development Sarah Boyarko, Youngstown Mayor John McNally, Warren Mayor Doug Franklin, the Mahoning County and Trumbull County boards of commissioners.

Amazon’s HQ2 project, as it has been dubbed, is expected to result in a $5 billion investment and bring 50,000 jobs over 15 years to the selected city.

Among the qualities Amazon is looking for in the site of its future headquarters is a metropolitan area with more than 1 million people, 500,000 square feet of building space with room for up to 8 million square feet for expansions, a 45-minute drive to an international airport, immediate access to highways and mass transit, and “quality of life and cultural community fit.”

The Mahoning Valley doesn’t meet all of those requirements, the Regional Chamber acknowledged, but has forwarded its proposal to Team NEO, based in Cleveland, and JobsOhio. The Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber is the designated economic development partner of Team NEO, while JobsOhio “takes the lead on the local coordination of such opportunities,” the chamber said in its announcement.

“We understand Amazon’s site selection process and are pleased to work with JobsOhio, which assists companies around the world in locating to and growing their business in Ohio, to determine our compatibility with the HQ2 investment, including any future opportunities that may arise,” Dignan said.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.