I’ve written before about Amazon’s announcement to build a second headquarters facility somewhere in North America, and the efforts of cities like Columbus and San Antonio to attract the river of Amazon cash that would flow with the building of the giant company’s second HQ. In all, Amazon received 238 proposals from cities throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico that wanted to be considered in the selection process.
Yesterday, Amazon announced the list of the locations that will be 20 finalists, and lo and behold, Columbus made the list. San Antonio, alas, did not.
According to the New York Times, the selection of Columbus (as well as Nashville) to be among the 20 finalists was a “surprise.” The Times contrasted the Columbus “surprise” with cities that were “widely expected to make the cut,” like Boston, Denver, and Dallas, “hip centers like Miami and Austin, Tex.,” and Los Angeles and New York, as “centers of the tech industry.” Some people in Columbus were irked by the “surprise” reactions, which seem to have a lot more to do with our city’s historic “cowtown” image rather than the reality of the modern Columbus. One Columbus publication, 614, chastised the Times for reflecting “regional snobbery” to “take a big poo on our small victory.”
According to the Times article: “The process will now shift into a new phase, with Amazon representatives communicating more directly with the finalist cities as they prepare to select a winner later this year — and perhaps with cities being even more outspoken about why they should be chosen. Emissaries from Amazon are expected to visit the finalist locations in person.”
It will be nice to have the Amazon emissaries come to Columbus to see for themselves what our fair city has to offer and hear about why it would be an excellent choice for “HQ2,” with its anticipated $5 billion in investments and 50,000 high-paying jobs. Who knows? Maybe they’ll experience “surprise” when they stop by — or maybe they already know that Columbus is a great place, and that’s why we made the list of finalists in the first place.