A year after Amazon.com Inc. (NYSE: AMZN) announced plans for a second headquarters, a site selection expert believes Indianapolis remains a long-shot, despite putting together an "A-plus proposal." KSM Location Advisors Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook says some of the factors weighing against Indianapolis are largely out of the city’s control, like the size and diversity of the workforce. Regardless of the outcome, Cook believes the city made the right call in bidding for the project, which he says would be a "huge win" for the city and state if Indy is selected.
The project is expected to bring a more than $5 billion investment and ultimately up to 50,000 jobs.
Last month, CNBC used data from its latest America’s Top States for Business study and other sources to determine that Indianapolis could be a top 10 contender for the headquarters. Overall, the analysis gave Indianapolis a "B" grade, putting it on par with cities like Los Angeles, Raleigh and Columbus, Ohio. You can see the full ranking by clicking here.
When Amazon picked Indianapolis as one of the 20 finalists for the headquarters, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said it showed the city continues "punching above our weight" as an attractive tech hub. Hogsett had previously made a trip to Seattle through the Leadership Exchange Program, which he said helped make Indianapolis more "Amazon-ready."
Mike Langellier, CEO of Indiana’s technology growth initiative TechPoint, says the selection as a finalist sends a "powerful statement" to other companies looking for locations. During an interview last year, he compared Indy’s efforts to land the headquarters to the city’s 2012 Super Bowl bid.
The finalists, selected from 238 proposals submitted from throughout North America are:
- Columbus, Ohio
- Los Angeles
- Montgomery County, Maryland
- New York City
- Northern Virginia
- Washington D.C.