Baltimore leaders got a follow-up call with Amazon, but no reason why city didn't make the HQ2 cut - Technical.ly Baltimore

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Jan. 29, 2018 10:58 am

Baltimore leaders got a follow-up call with Amazon, but no reason why city didn’t make the HQ2 cut

The Amazon exec did, however, point out the positives of the proposal.
HQ2 won’t be part of this picture.

HQ2 won't be part of this picture.

(Rendering courtesy of Under Armour)

After a bid by Baltimore leaders and Sagamore Development to bring Amazon HQ2 to Port Covington did not make the list of 20 finalist cities for the massive project, leaders had a call with an Amazon exec to debrief last week.

Despite asking, they did not receive answers about why Baltimore didn’t make the cut, according to a readout of the call released by the Baltimore Development Corporation.

“The call attendees asked pointed questions, requesting more specific feedback regarding areas in which Baltimore fell short of the other cities, but the company did not elaborate further, instead focusing on the positive progress the City has and is continuing to make regarding STEM education, transit and infrastructure,” the summary states.

However, the Amazon exec had plenty of positive things to say to the participants, which included Mayor Catherine Pugh, BDC CEO William H. Cole IV, City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young and Plank Industries CEO Tom Geddes. The proposal was deemed “one of the most creative, innovative and comprehensive proposals they received.”

“Regarding Baltimore, the Amazon executive stated that the company was excited about all the investments the City and its schools are making in STEM education, both in K-12 and with university partnerships, and that these initiatives would pay substantial dividends in the future,” the readout states.  “The company noted that for their overall process, transit, accessibility and tech work-force readiness were key driving factors and that Baltimore was clearly investing in those areas, which would be helpful for future potential partnerships with Amazon.”

The bid came as a result of considerable effort from civic, business and higher education leaders, which some have argued could carry over to supporting other new ideas. The only Maryland jurisdiction to make the cut was Montgomery County. Gov. Larry Hogan said last week the state would offer an incentive package totaling $5 billion in the effort to win the bid.

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“The executive shared her contact information with City officials and asked them to continue to engage with Amazon around potential future investments, noting that they had learned a tremendous amount about Baltimore from the proposal and would like to continue to learn more,” the statement said.

As for details of the bid itself, which were previously kept under wraps, BDC said leaders are planning to release it to the public “in the coming days.”

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