As Youngstown-Warren Doesn’t Meet All Amazon HQ2 Criteria, Chamber & Valley Leaders Throw Support To Cleveland

Oct 25, 2017
After final determination that the Youngstown-Warren region does not meet all of the criteria for Amazon’s proposed second corporate headquarters (HQ2), the Regional Chamber and local leaders are standing behind the decision of its economic development partners TeamNEO and JobsOhio to submit a Cleveland site that did meet all criteria for consideration for the $5 billion project.

After final determination that the Youngstown-Warren region does not meet all of the criteria for Amazon’s proposed second corporate headquarters (HQ2), the Regional Chamber and local leaders are standing behind the decision of its economic development partners TeamNEO and JobsOhio to submit a Cleveland site that did meet all criteria for consideration for the $5 billion project.

The Chamber and several local elected officials had agreed that, in the Valley, Enterprise Park at Eastwood in Trumbull County was the site that was best suited for the project and came closest to meeting specifications. The Chamber submitted a proposal for Enterprise Park as its preferred site to TeamNEO and JobsOhio for consideration for submission to Amazon.  

Sarah Boyarko, senior vice president of Economic Development at the Regional Chamber, said, “Like other communities in Ohio that worked with their regional partners throughout this process, we walked through the positives and negatives of our submission with TeamNEO. As we knew going in, we did not meet all of Amazon’s criteria for the project.”

While Enterprise Park itself fit the site requirements, the Valley fell short on criteria such as having a population of at least one million people, being located less than 45 minutes from an international airport and more.

Ultimately, Cleveland offered the only site (not yet revealed) in northeast Ohio to meet or exceed all of Amazon’s criteria. As such, Boyarko, Chamber President & CEO Tom Humphries and COO James Dignan met on Monday with Trumbull County Board of Commissioners Chairman Frank Fuda, Mahoning County Commissioner Anthony Traficanti, Warren Mayor Doug Franklin, Youngstown Mayor John McNally, Rick Leonard on behalf of U.S. Congressman Tim Ryan and Ohio Rep. Mike O’Brien to update them on the Cleveland submission, and they collectively agreed to support that submission. (The Chamber also followed up with other Valley elected officials, including U.S. Congressman Bill Johnson, State Senators Sean O’Brien and Joe Schiavoni and State Reps. John Boccieri, Glenn Holmes and Michelle Lepore-Hagan, and all agreed to support the Cleveland location.)

“Should Cleveland be selected for HQ2, the Youngstown-Warren area would inevitably grow, as well, with new investment from likely spinoff opportunities and the potential for local expansion—especially among our service providers—to support the company. The employment opportunities Amazon would bring—50,000 jobs over 10-15 years—are undeniable, too,” Boyarko added.

Submissions for HQ2 were due Oct. 19; Amazon will announce its chosen location in 2018.