Philly submitted its application to host the second headquarters of online megastore Amazon Thursday, along with more than 100 other cities that are contending for the megacorporation to bring billions in investments and jobs that Amazon will bring.
“Philadelphia is in the Goldilocks zone for Amazon,” Mayor Jim Kenney said Thursday morning as he thanked the local coalition of Amazon HQ2 application supporters. “Our location is central on the Northeast corridor, our talent pool is vast, and Philadelphia has all of the amenities Amazon's employees want, at a lower cost than other big cities.”
The city even posted its application with videos and maps online at public.philadelphiadelivers.com, touting Philadelphia’s appeal to Amazon, who set strict guidelines for their second headquarters’ ideal second location (their original headquarters is in Seattle): they wanted a city of at least a million, with ample public transit and universities in the area.
Drexel University president and Greater Philly Chamber of Commerce board chair John Fry called HQ2 “a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the Philadelphia region.”
“I really like our chances,” he said.
Amazon is expected to invest $5 billion in just building their second headquarters. Long-term, it could mean much more money for whatever city they choose. The company says it contributed $38 billion to Seattle’s economy from 2010 to 2016.
The bid specifically directs Amazon to consider three urban site options: the South Philly Navy Yard, and uCity Square and Schuylkill Yards in University City.
A truly massive group of local supporters contributed to Philly’s application to Amazon. More than 65 college and university presidents and 150 business leaders, 90 entrepreneurs and tech start-ups all provided their take on why Philly is the perfect choice.
Leaders from across the Greater Philadelphia region, city officials, local ethnic business associations and community development groups all kicked in their time and support as well. Wharton students even held competitions related to making the bid as appealing as possible, while Campus Philly surveyed local students to get even more data for the city’s application.
“The support we received from the leaders and the residents of this region in preparing our bid for HQ2 is really inspiring,” Kenney said, “not only because we received so much support, but also because we received it from so many different types of people.”
Some have reported rumors that Pennsylvania is a top choice for Amazon’s new home on the east coast. Relocating to Philly would put them next door to the global headquarters of Comcast, who is currently building their second skyscraper in Philadelphia. But Philly isn’t the only city in the state: Pittsburgh has also been waging an all-out campaign for Amazon.
Amazon’s decision on HQ2 will be announced in 2018.