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Maumee city admin: Amazon moving here makes most sense

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Maumee officials presented the Amazon offer Tuesday afternoon at The Pinnacle.

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Maumee is preparing to enter the bidding war in hopes of luring Amazon to northwest Ohio.

After announcing their desire to persuade Amazon to build its second headquarters in Maumee last week, Maumee administrator John Jezak and developer Brian McMahon detailed why the city and Toledo region would be an attractive site for Amazon’s second headquarters during a Maumee Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Pinnacle.

RELATED: Group offering 521 acres in Maumee to Amazon

“We’ve studied this and looked at it closer, and every time we look at it it seems to make more sense,” Mr. Jezak said.

Amazon, the world's largest online retailer, announced last month it is soliciting bids from cities across North America for a suitable location to build a second company headquarters.

Amazon officials said they expect to invest more than $5 billion in building the headquarters and hire up to 50,000 employees. In Seattle, Amazon has 33 buildings with more than 40,000 employees.

The most appealing feature of the proposal is the 521 acres of land near the Shops of Fallen Timbers that far exceeds the 100 acres Amazon required to house the new headquarters, Mr. McMahon said.

“Having done economic development for many years, the most important part of the proposal is having a site that meets their criteria,” Mr. McMahon said.

Not only does the site have enough land to accommodate the headquarters, there also is enough land to build a campus and provide all the amenities Amazon would need for employees, he added.

Dozens of cities throughout the United States and Canada already announced their intentions of securing the second headquarters, including Cincinnati, Columbus, and Detroit. But what differentiates Maumee’s proposal from others is they have willing sellers, zoned property, and land that is serviced by infrastructure, Mr. Jezak said.  

All proposals must be submitted to the company by Oct. 19.

Amazon said the ideal location would be a metropolitan area with more than a million people, but also said it’s open to urban or suburban locations with the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent. It also wants its headquarters to be near an international airport. Although the Toledo Express Airport does have full international services, the Detroit Metropolitan Airport is about 50 miles from Toledo.

“A lot of people don’t realize in our community that we can get to the Detroit Airport in less time than people in Detroit because they have so much congestion,” Mr. McMahon said. 

With the deadline for proposals quickly approaching, Mr. Jezak said they are in the process of finalizing their pitch.

Although the proposal would place the Amazon site in Maumee, Mr. Jezak said the new headquarters would also benefit the city of Toledo if selected.

“This is a tax-sharing zone where the city of Toledo will receive one-third of income tax proceeds,” Mr. Jezak said.

A corporation of Amazon’s size moving to northwest Ohio and the creation of nearly 50,000 jobs could help the area turn around its 6 percent unemployment rate, he added.

“It really could be a game changer,” Mr. Jezak said.

Contact Javonte Anderson at janderson@theblade.com419-724-6065, or on Twitter @JavonteA.

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