Butler County’s Liberty Twp. makes bid for Amazon headquarters

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Liberty Twp. is making efforts to snag Amazon’s second North American headquarters and with it, the potential for thousands of new jobs, a lower tax base and an economic impact expected to ripple throughout the region for decades to come.

The request for the township to put in a bid for the Amazon HQ2 project came early this fall at the behest of REDI Cincinnati as part of a regional pitch that also involved larger communities like Cincinnati and Newport, Ky., according to Liberty Twp. Trustee Tom Farrell

An analysis of Amazon’s request for the project shows it wants a location where its workforce can work, live and play in the same area and where the company can secure, in its own words, “a quality technical workforce at scale,” Farrell said.

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“They want access to multiple airports, major highways. They want parks and walkability,” he said. “The workforce trend is moving to the suburbs with city amenities and Liberty Twp. has that.”

In addition, Ohio is the seventh-largest state in the country with easy access to the Midwest and East Coast, “so why not Liberty? Why not Ohio?” Farrell said.

“Everybody believes this is something that has to be in a city environment, and that’s not true,” Farrell said. “The vision … is that the suburb of the future is where these employees, these executives, these engineers want to be. They do want to live-work-play in the same area.”

Amazon is expected to make an announcement on its location choice in February, according to Farrell.

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Liberty Twp. officials, citing a non-disclosure agreement, said they cannot discuss the proposed location for such a project and any incentives offered, he said.

However, documents detailing Amazon’s wants, show that incentives are important, but not the only criteria, according to Farrell.

“Future growth, sustainability and that family-oriented workforce is the future that Amazon desires … and I believe Liberty can offer that future and others aren’t going to be able to,” Farrell said. “I truly believe you don’t become No. 1 by only worrying about incentives. How many companies come into a place with a 10-year tax incentive and then they leave after 10 years to get another tax incentive? That’s not Amazon. That’s not Liberty.”

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