A release of Columbus' 1,300-page pitch to Amazon peels back the layers on the effort by the city to land the retail giant's second headquarters. Amazon named Columbus as one of its 20 finalists earlier this year.
The documents reveal the city offering tax incentives of nearly a half-billion dollars as it tries to secure the thousands of jobs and 8-million square feet of office space the company is promising.
One of the areas which the city is using to hope entice Amazon is the Franklinton peninsula, which is being reshaped with plenty of construction projects. Land Grant brewing was one of the first businesses to recognize the efforts to remake one of the city's oldest neighborhoods. But the brewery is wary of the impact of what impact the retailer could have on the neighborhood.
"We want everything that happens down in Franklinton to benefit everyone that lives down in Franklinton," said Jackie Kemble, with Land Grant.
The city is also offering parcels in the west OSU campus area and Easton, although in its release to the media, the city redacted the exact locations of those sites. Columbus officials also acknowledge some of the city's blemishes, promising Amazon the city has a task force studying and trying to prevent what Columbus calls "an unacceptable murder rate."
The retailer was expected to announce it decision on where to locate HQ2 by July. But one expert said the company may be tied up dealing with another major project.
"They launched this entire search before they knew they were going to take on Whole Foods, that happened pretty quickly, so they're digesting a pretty big company," said Ned Hill, who teaches economic development policy at Ohio State. He agrees with most pundits that Columbus is a long shot to earn HQ2.
"There is a chance, but still its going to be a reach," he said.