Editor’s note: The following commentary was recorded at WBAL News Radio 1090 on October 27, 2017.
Fifty-thousand employees, 8 million square feet of office space, thousands of highly paid well-educated residents relocating to the community – that is what Baltimore and 237 other jurisdictions are competing for in the economic development sweepstakes called Amazon HQ2.
Naysayers scoff at the thought of Baltimore as a serious contender. But no one can question the Herculian effort by Baltimore City, the State, Sagamore Development, and the private sector to put Baltimore’s best foot forward.
The fact is that Baltimore has a lot going for it. A highly-educated workforce, a strong innovation and entrepreneurial economy, access to major highways, an international airport, and a world-class Port. Millennials love the city’s affordability and its culture.
And to top it off – 260 acres of waterfront property- Port Covington- that enjoys over $600 million of government incentives, a $232 million private investment from Goldman Sachs, and the innovation giant – UnderArmour. This waterfront jewel is already zoned and is shovel ready for construction.
That’s a combination that few can match.
Amazon has transformed the landscape of the retail industry. Amazon wants its second headquarters location to transform the social and economic fabric of a city. It will be hard pressed to find a location better suited to fit this vision than Baltimore.
Indeed, Baltimore is Prime for Amazon.
I’m Don Fry, President & CEO of the Greater Baltimore Committee.