Attracting Amazon was a big deal for Clayton as it tries to diversify its economy. Even though its chances were arguably very low, Clayton had hoped luring a high-paying white-collar employer like Amazon's HQ2 would balance the hundreds of warehousing and distribution center jobs the county has added over the last five years.
Kennesaw State University economist Roger Tutterow applauded the county for its ambition, but said Clayton was never seriously in the running. It needs more moderate growth before it is ready for such a big leap.
“For areas that don’t have track records of attracting a lot of corporate relocations, probably smaller wins are more realistic,” he said. “And it’s not just the southern crescent, not every part of metro Atlanta is having great success at attracting white-collar corporate relocations.”
Stefanie Paupeck Harper, a spokeswoman for the state economic development department, said Amazon asked that submissions be submitted through states as part of its proposal request.
Clayton announced its intention to pitch Mountain View — an area of hundreds of acres of land near I-75 and the airport’s international gates — last October. A moratorium on development in the area followed, but at some point the development authority launched a master plan study that looked at other uses for the land.