While a big name in the state’s technology community is praising the bid effort, he says the Indianapolis region "dodged a bullet" by not landing an Amazon.com Inc. (NYSE: AMZN) headquarters. Fishers-based ClearObject Inc. Chief Executive Officer John McDonald says Amazon’s $5 billion plans, which call for 50,000 additional jobs over 20 years, would’ve compounded existing transportation, housing and workforce issues. Amazon announced Tuesday that New York City and northern Virginia beat out other top 20 cities like Indianapolis for the massive investment.
In an interview before Amazon made the news official, McDonald told Inside INdiana Business Reporter Mary-Rachel Redman he believes there are better options for growing Indiana’s tech ecosystem. "The truth is, we want to grow our tech economy, we don’t want to have it taken over," he said. "I know that’s a bit of a contrarian point of view, and I’m just as pleased and happy that we put a bid in and got this far up and I’m deeply grateful for all the people that put in all the time and energy to do that. But, I kind of think we dodged a bullet on this one and I think it’s probably best for our tech economy that we keep building it right here at home in Indiana and start building companies that are home-grown here that are Amazon companies."
McDonald adds that the Indianapolis/Fishers pitch that landed the region in consideration as a finalist is a "real feather in our cap" and shows that the Indy tech scene is "a real thing." He adds "I want people to think a little bit about what would’ve happened if we would had gotten the nod on that. Our home prices would’ve gone through the roof. Our transportation issues would’ve become crushing. We already have 1,000 open software development jobs in the city, that would get a lot worse and then we’ll be fighting Amazon for people to build our businesses."
During an interview following Tuesday’s announcement, Indy Chamber Chief Economic Development Officer Maureen Krauss said the collaboration and assets developed through the bidding process will enhance dealings with business prospects.