After Ohio expansion, Amazon searches for U.S. headquarters location

KARA DRISCOLL/STAFF

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KARA DRISCOLL/STAFF

Just a week after state officials said Amazon plans to build a new fulfillment center in Monroe near Interstate 75, the online retail giant announced it’s also searching for a location for its second U.S. headquarters.

Amazon said on Thursday that it plans to open a second headquarters in North America that will cost $5 billion to build and operate. It will house around 50,000 employees.

“In addition to Amazon’s direct hiring and investment, construction and ongoing operation of Amazon HQ2 is expected to create tens of thousands of additional jobs and tens of billions of dollars in additional investment in the surrounding community,” the company said in a statement.

» WATCH: Here’s how an Ohio Amazon warehouse operates

The company is seeking proposals from local and state government leaders interested in how they can bring Amazon to their community, the company said. Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle has brought an additional $38 million to the city’s economy from 2010 through 2016, the company estimates.

“We expect HQ2 to be a full equal to our Seattle headquarters,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. “Amazon HQ2 will bring billions of dollars in up-front and ongoing investments, and tens of thousands of high-paying jobs. We’re excited to find a second home.”

The Seattle headquarters encompasses 8.1 million square feet and has 33 buildings. It employs more than 40,000 people.

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Amazon will consider locations for the second headquarters that have attributes including: metropolitan areas with more than one million people; a business-friendly environment; urban and suburban locations with the potential to attract “strong technical talent,” and communities that “think big and creatively when considering locations and real estate options.”

Amazon already has a major presence in Ohio, with more than 5,000 full-time employees in the state. In Ohio, Amazon has launched operations at two different fulfillment centers in Etna and Obetz, and also has Prime Now sites in Columbus and Valley View.

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The Etna facility has more than 3,000 full-time employees who pick, pack and shop customer orders. The massive facility is more than 1 million square feet — about the size of 28 football fields, and holds tens of millions of products with more than 14 miles of conveyor belts weaving throughout the building.

Amazon also announced earlier this year that it would invest $1.49 billion and bring 2,700 new jobs to a worldwide cargo hub at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky, which is located in Hebron, Ky., won the bid from Amazon over the Wilmington Air Park in Ohio — bringing those jobs to over to Kentucky instead of Ohio. About 600 of those 2,700 new jobs will be full-time positions.

» RELATED: Amazon to add 1,000 jobs at Monroe location

The online giant will continue expansion in Ohio with a new fulfillment center in Monroe, though a specific location of Amazon’s investment has not been disclosed. The project will bring at least 1,000 new jobs to the region, state officials said.

The Ohio Tax Credit Authority approved a 1.39 percent, 10-year tax credit for the Monroe Amazon facility that is expected to create $26.7 million in new payroll and be a $30 million fixed-asset investment. The tax credit starts in January.

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