Indy, Fishers mayors team up to attract Amazon HQ

(WISH Photo/Ron Nakasone)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The mayors of two cities are teaming up to pitch central Indiana as the site of the new Amazon headquarters — and as many as 50,000 new jobs.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett and Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness together announced Monday afternoon they would be putting together a team of local technology, business and community leaders to assist their efforts to propose central Indiana as the home of the second headquarters of Amazon.

Last week Amazon released a request for proposals. According to the request, Amazon is looking to put their second headquarters in a metropolitan area with more than one million people. They’re also looking for “a stable and business-friendly environment.” As well as “urban or suburban locations with the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent.”

In a statement released Monday afternoon, the mayors highlighted the appeal of central Indiana for the company, noting that Amazon already employs 9,000 Hoosiers in five facilities. They identified what they considered a number of advantages to life and business in central Indiana, including a “strong talent pipeline, bolstered by exemplary institutes for higher education; a walkable, livable downtown; and a culture of innovation.”

“In the coming days, we will convene the best minds from our local tech sector, as well as key business and community leaders, to build on Amazon’s already strong presence in central Indiana and share the unique story of what Indianapolis has to offer with the world,” said Mayor Hogsett of the plans to develop a proposal.

According to Mayor Hogsett’s office, over 35,000 people living in Marion County work in information technology.

Jobs at the planned second Amazon headquarters would have an average compensation of more than $100,000, according to a release from Amazon.

“We believe we have a compelling case to make and while we ultimately hope it will be successdul, the truth is every other community around the country will probably be doing the same thing, so we are aware and recognize the competitive nature of this process,” said Mayor Hogsett.

Even if Indiana is not selected for this project, local leaders say the process of submitting a proposal will still benefit the region.

“I think it will be a very significant plus for our region having experienced an economic development project of this size and scope. To have gotten together done the hard work, answered all the questions so that in the future when the next economic development project comes along, or the one after that, we will be even better prepared and even more competitive to the process,” said Mayor Hogsett.

The proposal is due October 19th, 2017. Amazon is expected to select a location in 2018.

Reaction

Boone County Economic Development Executive Director Molly Whitehead issued this statement:

We look forward to working with our partners in the Indy region to leverage the best our area has to offer in an effort to attract Amazon to locate their headquarters here. Amazon is no stranger to Boone County. In fact, Whitestown, Indiana’s fastest growing community for six straight years, is home to an Amazon fulfillment center. We are confident in our ability to compete with any region across the country based on our business-friendly environment, talented workforce and quality of life.”