Dayton to pursue Amazon’s $5B headquarters

Amazon plans to build a second headquarters in North America, and the city of Dayton intends to try to lure the online shopping giant to this region.

Amazon, based in Seattle, Wash., expects to spend more than $5 billion to build a second headquarters that could employ 50,000 or more people in what the company says are high-paying jobs ($100,000 or more annually).

Dayton plans to respond to Amazon’s request for proposals that it will use to select a site for the massive investment.

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“We believe our strong history of innovation, coupled with our workforce and easy access to transportation networks makes Dayton a strong contender among other cities looking to attract Amazon,” said Shelley Dickstein, city manager.

Amazon has said its preference is to put its second headquarters (dubbed HQ2) in a metro area with more than 1 million people that has a business-friendly environment and that can attract and retain “strong” technical talent.

The Dayton metro area (which consists of Montgomery, Greene, Miami and Preble) has about people 800,900.

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Several dozen U.S. metro areas have a million or more people, including Cincinnati and Columbus, according to 2015 U.S. Census data.

However, Dayton meets other core requirements, such as proximity to major highways (Dayton is at “the Crossroads of America”), it has an international airport and has direct access to some mass transit.

Dayton’s proximity to other major population centers (Cincinnati and Columbus) could be a selling point.

“Due to the scope of the request and having just received the RFP yesterday, we will be working with the Dayton Development Coalition to put forward options that will meet and satisfy Amazon’s requirements,” Dickstein said.

However, the competition will be fierce, as communities across the continent scramble to woo one of the world’s largest and fastest growing retailers.

Amazon claims its investments in Seattle between 2010 through 2016 resulted in an additional $38 billion to the city’s economy.

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