Bids were due Thursday from cities hoping to land Amazon’s second headquarters. Alongside Ohio’s large cities – including Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus- the small city of Niles is hoping it may have a chance.
On its application, the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber is submitting Enterprise Park as a possible location. The 105-acre undeveloped property is located near Eastwood Mall.
The Cafaro Company, which owns the property, would sell it to Amazon for $1 and give Amazon $20 million in seed money to develop it.
“We’re willing to give up that land for a dollar because we know sales at our shopping complex and the surrounding area would far outweigh anything we could do to develop that land on our own,” says Joe Bell, a spokesperson for the Cafaro Company.
Bell says that the offer does not quite meet all of Amazon’s requirements, including the population size and an airport with direct flights to Seattle, where Amazon is headquartered.
Niles, in northeast Ohio, has a population of just under 20,000, while the Mahoning Valley has a combined population of over 565,000. That’s far short of the 1 million that Amazon is hoping for.
Even Columbus is considered a long shot for the headquarters, despite its growing and highly-educated population and reputation for being a retail hub.