GARY, Ind. — City leaders in Gary, Indiana, are looking past its long struggles with poverty and crime by making a pitch for landing Amazon’s planned second headquarters.

The city took out an ad in Monday’s New York Times business section addressed to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. The ad says picking Gary for the $5 billion project “may seem far-fetched,” then compares it to the e-commerce giant’s unlikely start operating out of Bezos’ Seattle garage. The ad touts Gary’s proximity to Chicago, access to available land and Indiana’s “pro-business environment.”

Gary spokeswoman LaLosa Burns says the city paid about $9,500 for the advertisement and plans submitting a formal bid to Amazon.

Northwest Indiana Forum president Heather Ennis says the group is brainstorming with officials from throughout the area on a possible bid.

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