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9/25/2017 10:28:00 AM
River Ridge partnering with Louisville on Amazon HQ2 application
Outgoing packages are pictured on a line during Cyber Monday at the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Jeffersonville on Monday, Sept. 18, 2017. Staff photo by Christopher Fryer
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Outgoing packages are pictured on a line during Cyber Monday at the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Jeffersonville on Monday, Sept. 18, 2017. Staff photo by Christopher Fryer

Danielle Grady, News and Tribune

CHARLESTOWN — River Ridge Commerce Center is partnering with the City of Louisville to submit a bid to Amazon for the e-commerce store’s second headquarters in North America.

The commerce center in Charlestown and Jeffersonville revealed earlier this month that it was interested in landing Amazon’s “HQ2.” The second headquarters would employ 50,000 people and eventually take up 8 million square feet.

Amazon has run out of room at its Seattle headquarters and announced Sept. 8 that it was looking for a North American metropolitan area to host its HQ2. The company asked for metropolitan areas with over one million people to submit one application to a special website by Oct. 19 to be considered for the project.

The City of Louisville declared four days ago that it was also going to be applying for HQ2 and that it would be working with “regional partners” to do so. Dustin Coffman, River Ridge’s director of marketing and finance, confirmed at a public presentation in Charlestown on Thursday that the two entities would be working together on the proposal.

Each MSA, or metropolitan statistical area, submitting an application to Amazon is allowed to “contain multiple real estate sites in more than one jurisdiction.”

In a previous interview with the News and Tribune, Uric Dufrene, Indiana University Southeast Sanders Chair of Business, said that Amazon might be looking for either a downtown location like Louisville’s or a suburban one, like River Ridge.

MSAs across the country are also planning to include incentive packages in their Amazon applications.

River Ridge Executive Director Jerry Acy said in a previous interview with the News and Tribune that the commerce center’s application could include incentives from both surrounding city and state governments.

On Thursday, Coffman reiterated that Indiana's government might get involved.

“As a team with Louisville, as an MSA, we are going to be talking to both sides of the river,” he said. ”We’re going to be talking to the state of Indiana and the state of Kentucky.”

To the audience at the Charlestown presentation, Coffman addressed concerns that the Louisville area couldn’t support the 50,000 higher-end jobs that HQ2 might require, which are expected to pay an average of $100,000 annually.

“Personally, if I see, I’m not looking for a job, but if I were, and I see an Amazon ad ‘$100,000’ plus a year income, I think we will fill all the positions, all the positions around here with everybody that needs a job, and there will be people coming globally,” he said.

Dufrene said he had doubts that the Louisville area could fill the level of jobs needed by Amazon, but he also said that the metropolitan area does have a chance in landing the headquarters.

Related Stories:
• Boone County submits five sites for Amazon headquarters consideration
• OPINION: The lessons of Amazon and Indianapolis
• OPINION: Amazon's amazing indecent proposal
• Indianapolis, Fishers mayors spearhead effort to attract Amazon HQ2
• Northwest Indiana making a Regionwide bid for Amazon's second headquarters
• Lake County Council members debate the cost of an Amazon bid
• Northwest Indiana launches Amazon bid teams
• Indianapolis, Fishers hush-hush about Amazon HQ2 bid
• Gary, Hammond, Northwest Indiana make bids for Amazon's second headquarters, up to 50,000 jobs
• Louisville metro area submits 'strong' application for Amazon headquarters

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