Columbus made a bid and is now a finalist for the Republican National Convention in 2016 and has started efforts to gather a bid for the Democratic convention as well. Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editor

Columbus on Thursday was announced as a finalist for Amazon’s second headquarters. .
Credit: Lantern file photo

Columbus is on Amazon’s short list for its second headquarters alongside cities such as New York, Dallas and Chicago.

Amazon announced 20 finalists Thursday, after narrowing the proposals down from the 238 submitted since September.

Columbus was an “unexpected” finalist, according to the New York Times, because it leans away from the typical tech-hub West Coast areas one might associate with an Amazon headquarters, such as Los Angeles.

In Columbus’ submitted proposal, it lists Ohio State as a possible location site. Amazon is expected to invest more than $5 billion in construction of the site, and hire up to 50,000 workers.

Other Columbus neighborhoods, such as downtown and Franklinton, were listed as potential headquarter locations. Columbus is the second largest city in the Midwest outside of Chicago, according to census estimates.

According to an Ohio State spokesman, the university worked with city officials in developing the bid.

In a statement on Ohio State’s role in the bid’s development, University President Michael Drake said the college is proud of the city’s submission.

“As one of the world’s most comprehensive universities, we are uniquely positioned to provide a talented and diverse workforce across a wide range of disciplines,” Drake said. “Ohio State is actively involved in the city’s unprecedented growth, and it is exciting to think about working with Amazon on career development for students, economic development and cutting-edge research.”

“We see many ways in which the university and Amazon could work together to support cutting-edge research, provide career opportunities for our students and elevate economic development opportunities,” Ben Johnson, an Ohio State spokesman, told The Lantern in October.

In addition to its headquarters, Amazon plans to bring with it various research opportunities, something Johnson said the university could encapsulate very well because of its innovative forefronts.

The new headquarters will be equal to its current location in Seattle, Amazon said on its site.

“We want to find a city that is excited to work with us and where our customers, employees, and the community can all benefit,” the website said.

In the coming months, the company will work with each of the 20 candidates to “dive deeper” into the proposals and evaluate if the city can accommodate hiring plans, “as well as benefit our employees and the local community.”

Amazon is expected to make its decision this year.


Update, 1/18: This article has been updated to include a statement from University President Michael Drake on Ohio State’s role in Columbus’ bid.