Toledo quietly working on bid to land Amazon HQ2

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TOLEDO, Ohio (13abc, Action News) - Amazon announced in September that it was searching for a second North American corporate headquarters.

The search for what it calls HQ2 has cities across the continent scrambling to put together enticing bids.

While Toledo's effort is under the radar, the city has made an approach to Amazon.

Ultimately, the company wants to build an 8 million square foot facility, hiring as many as 50,000 people and paying on average $100,000 per worker.

Attracting that kind of economic booster is enticing to any city. But Amazon has certain criteria it wants, namely, a metrolpolitan area of roughly 1 million people, first class universities and easy access to an international airport.

Toledo may not possess those attributes but feels its quality of life, affordability and strong workforce are major assets.

During a campaign event, Democrat mayoral candidate Wade Kapszukiewicz said, "Applying for this could help change the way Toledo thinks of itself."

He admits Toledo may not be a perfect fit, but by simply putting itself on the market and making a pitch, he believes the city can get out the word that Toledo is open to business.

Kapszukiewicz says, "Every other city that pursuing this is sticking out its chest and proudly announcing it's ability to get it done. Toledo has not done that."

But today, 13abc learned that's not true.

The city has been engaged with Amazon for the last three months talking to that company about two different projects. One includes locating a distribution center in the Toledo,.

Toledo reached out to Amazon in June and the city pitched its port and highways as great distribution lines.

Then earlier this month, the city called back when the new headquarters search was announced.

Cities like Cleveland and Detroit are also making pitches.

Detroit is willing to add other cities to its bid package, something Windsor, Ontario, Canada has done. Ann Arbor may also join Detroit's application. But Toledo will "go it alone", a city spokesman told us.

But Toledo is certainly a longshot to win the bid for Amazon's new headquarters.

Dayton and other Ohio cities are making bids.

And while Kapszukiewicz says he'd be out front banging Toledo's drum, mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson is working back channels.

It is a tough sell either way, but the city is putting together its bid to land Amazon's new headquarters in time for the October 19 deadline.

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