How To Make Baltimore Amazon’s Best Choice

10/16/17

By Christopher and Stephen, The Washington Post

Christopher B. Summers is president and chief executive of the Maryland Public Policy Institute. Stephen J.K. Walters is professor of economics at Loyola University Maryland and author of “Boom Towns: Restoring the Urban American Dream.”

In the amazing race for Amazon’s second headquarters, which promises 50,000 jobs to the winning city, handicappers consider Baltimore a longshot. But this dark horse not only satisfies most of Amazon’s explicit criteria for its “HQ2,” it also has advantages many favorites lack. (Amazon’s founder and chief executive, Jeffrey P. Bezos, owns The Washington Post.)

Part of Charm City’s edge is geographic, part is economic, and the rest is opportune timing. Its Port Covington site, 260 waterfront acres situated a few furlongs from Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, checks off every box on Amazon’s “core preferences” list. It is just minutes from an international airport via a contiguous highway and light rail line. Nearby are several high-caliber universities; their talented graduates often stay to enjoy the city’s combination of grit and sophistication. And a 55-minute train ride will put company execs in the corridors of power on Capitol Hill.

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