Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett and Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness will this afternoon outline central Indiana efforts to land a second U.S. headquarters for Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN). The online retail giant last week announced plans for the $5 billion investment, which would result in up to 50,000 new jobs with an average salary topping $100,000 per year. Hogsett and Fadness say they hope to build on Amazon’s existing presence in Indiana, which includes 9,000 employees in five facilities.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, University of Indianapolis Associate Professor of Finance Matt Will says he believes the Indianapolis area "checks all the boxes" for Amazon.
Will says, while Indianapolis has not gotten much coverage as a possibility since Amazon made its announcement, "The reality is I guarantee you Amazon has us on the top of their list." He says Amazon knows the Indy area is the logistics center of the country, sitting within 1,000 miles of three-quarters of the United States and Canada. He also believes no one will compete with Indiana on government incentives, and says the state has a "rapid response team" in place to get a package to Amazon quickly.
Central Indiana’s biggest hurdle, Will says, will be work force development. Part of that is because Indiana has such a low unemployment rate, currently sitting at 3.1 percent. He says, whereas the state’s location is a major advantage logistically, it can also make it more difficult to attract people who want to live in the mountains or on the beach. However, Will says school such as the University of Notre Dame, Purdue University and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology that can train top talent will be attractive to Amazon.
Amazon says it would like its second headquarters location to be a metropolitan area with more than one million people, a stable and business-friendly environment, have the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent and be a community that thinks "big and creatively when considering locations and real estate options." The company has fulfillment centers in Jeffersonville, Indianapolis, Plainfield and Whitestown
This afternoon’s announcement with Hogsett, Fadness and central Indiana economic development leaders is set for 3:00. Inside INdiana Business will be at the event and will update this story.