Link to article: http://jacksonville.com/editorials/opinion/2017-10-26/friday-lead-editorial-jacksonville-deserves-be-strong-contender-amazon
Jacksonville knows all about long shots.
From 1979 to 1993, this city sought a National Football League franchise.
To the very end, the wise guys and the cynics said it wouldn’t happen. But it did.
“A Day We Won’t Forget,” blared the front-page headline in The Florida Times-Union.
And now the Jacksonville Jaguars franchise is worth $2 billion, according to Forbes.
So when Mayor Lenny Curry added Jacksonville to the 237 other cities bidding for a second headquarters for Amazon, it didn’t seem like such a long shot.
It’s a big deal, a $5 billion project in addition to Amazon’s current Seattle headquarters.
There could be as many as 50,000 employees making an average of $100,000 a year, reported Drew Dixon in the Times-Union.
Jacksonville fits Amazon’s requirements:
• A metro area of more than 1 million. Check.
• Within 45 minutes of an international airport. Check.
• Be able to expand the headquarters to as much as 8 million square feet. Check.
• Direct access to mass transit. JTA is running a shuttle to Amazon’s North Jacksonville facility.
This is all in the wheelhouse of our city, Florida’s logistics centerpiece.
This city has the geographic location, the history, the commitment and the expertise to handle all the logistics of an Amazon move here.
In fact, on a metropolitan basis, the education level here is more than competitive.
Data from the National Center for Data Statistics shows that our city’s metro area has a higher proportion of college graduates than in Indianapolis or Columbus, Ohio.
For instance, the University of North Florida has made logistics one of its focus elements.
Florida State College at Jacksonville is skilled at training people, especially in the logistics realm. And it has a B.A. degree program in logistics.
The quality of life here in this water wonderland is so fantastic that visitors invariably make Jacksonville their permanent home.
Last but not least, Jacksonville and Amazon know each other.
The JAX Chamber has helped to bring major Amazon facilities to Jacksonville. Altogether they include 2.2 million square feet of warehouse space with close to 3,000 workers and a total investment of more than $350 million, reported the Jacksovnille Business Journal.
So come on down Amazon. The water here is fine.