Baltimore’s bid to become the home of Amazon’s second North American headquarters is officially over, but two locations just south of the city are still in the hunt.
Amazon on Thursday announced the list of 20 finalist cities to be the second home of the e-commerce giant, among them Montgomery County, Md. and Washington, D.C. But Baltimore, which made a robust attempt to woo Amazon to its Port Covington development, didn’t make the cut.
“Naturally, like all Baltimoreans, I am disappointed that our city was not selected as among the finalists for Amazon’s new headquarters,” Mayor Catherine Pugh said in a statement. “We presented a comprehensive proposal that we were confident was compelling and competitive. While we may never know why our proposal was not successful, we will continue to accelerate the actions underway to improve the prospects of all our citizens.”
During a press conference at City Hall, Pugh dismissed the idea that the city’s record homicide rate was what ultimately disqualified its bid.
“I don’t think that violence was actually the determining factor,” she said. “You have some other cities on [the finalist list] that have some pretty high numbers as well, so I don’t think that’s the issue for us.” The mayor may have been alluding to Chicago, which recorded 650 homicides this year but still made the final cut of 20 cities.
In a statement, Gov. Larry Hogan said the state will put together an aggressive package to bring Amazon to Montgomery County, one of the wealthiest counties in the nation.
“This news is certainly welcome, but the real challenge lies ahead—and Maryland is ready to meet it,” Hogan said in the statement.
Kevin Kamenetz, the Baltimore County Executive and Maryland gubernatorial candidate blamed Baltimore’s failure to make the final cut on Gov. Larry Hogan.
“While Baltimore seemed a perfect fit based on Amazon’s criterial, it’s clear that a lack of public transportation, following Larry Hogan’s decision to kill the Red Line, was a critical nail in the coffin,” Kamenetz said via Twitter.
Amazon says it will make a final decision on the location of the $5 billion project that could employ 50,000 people, later this year.