Wooing Amazon: Dayton mayor confirms bid for North American headquarters

This Sept. 6, 2012, file photo, shows the Amazon logo. Dayton plans to submit a proposal for the company's second North American headquarters. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The city of Dayton thinks it has what it takes to convince an online retail giant to put down stakes here. Thursday, Amazon announced its plans to build a new North American headquarters and invited cities around the country to submit proposals.

At a Wednesday morning city commission meeting, Mayor Nan Whaley addressed rumors that Dayton intends to throw its hat in the ring. She said pledged to fight rigorously for the company’s attention.

“This is a huge opportunity for growth and to really show off, not only to the region, but to the rest of the country, how affordable and how great the opportunity is to really grow jobs here,” Mayor Whaley said.

Amazon promised its new $5 billion campus will create 50,000 high-paying jobs in the host community. Some think Dayton has promising selling points.

“We’re in a great location,” said Dayton resident Cynthia Sanford. “That’s everything with Amazon because you’re shipping all over.”

Mayor Whaley rattled off more benefits to a Dayton-based Amazon headquarters.

“Our commitment to inclusivity, the great workers we have here, the university institutions, the research facilities, the (Air Force) base, logistics of (interstates) 70 and 75,” Mayor Whaley mentioned. “All of these things I think give us a great opportunity to compete.”

Others realize fierce competition from cities around North America, including other Ohio cities like Columbus.

“If we could get it, it would be lucky,” said Dayton resident Robert King. “But it would be worthwhile.”

Amazon is looking for a city with a metro population of at least one million people.

Although Greater Dayton falls short of that, Mayor Whaley says local partners like Cincinnati and its metro area could collaborate to submit a regional bid.

“I think the real key point for us and all of Southwest Ohio is that if this lands somewhere in Southwest Ohio, we all win,” Mayor Whaley said.

The city is talking with its regional partners and working with the Dayton Development Coalition to draft a proposal. The bids are due to Amazon by October 19th.

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