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What Jacksonville Can Learn From Amazon's Rejection

Bachelor handing out roses to everyone except one girl
In this scenario, Jacksonville would be the girl in the red dress.

As we know, Jacksonville will not be home to Amazon’s headquarters, after city leaders found out last month their pitch to the company did not land a spot on its top-20 list of contenders.

The Jaxson co-founder Ennis Davis tells WJCT News Director Jessica Palombo that Jacksonville could learn something from the unexpected cities that did make the list.

Davis said the list is dominated by expected large metropolises like Chicago, Los Angeles and New York. And it’s very heavily weighted toward cities in the Northeast along the Amtrack-Acela Corridor between Washington at New York.

But what could be helpful for Jacksonville leaders is to look at the outliers on the list, he said, places like Nashville, Tennessee; Columbus, Ohio; and Indianapolis.

What they have in common, he said, is an investment in quality of life, including well-developed downtown areas and a strong pipeline of science-minded workers coming out of local universities.

Davis said Jacksonville would see more opportunities to snag big company headquarters if it focuses more on those aspects.

But “Jacksonville shouldn’t lose any sleep” over the rejection, he said. The same week the Amazon list was released, the City Council approved incentives to lure a solar panel manufacturer to the city’s Westside, creating an expected 800 jobs. 

Ennis Davis is co-founder of Modern Cities

Contact Jessica Palombo at 904-358-6315, or on Twitter at @JessicaPubRadio.