It’s been a few weeks since Amazon broke the internet when it announced that it was looking for the next place to put down roots for its second headquarters. Seemingly every major U.S. city except Seattle has thrown its hat into the ring, vying for the chance to bring thousands of jobs to town.
Philly is no different. Word on the street is that the city sent a representative to Amazon’s Seattle headquarters earlier this month. It also polled Philly residents, asking anyone and everyone for help on how to bring Amazon here, launching a social media campaign called #PhillyDelivers along with it.
Philly touts its affordability, increasing millennial population, and location as reasons why it would make the perfect place for Amazon to set up shop. But it faces stiff competition from cities all around the country—including some of its own neighbors.
Although Amazon’s RFP asks for only one submission from a metro area, the Philadelphia region plans to submit at least three. (Think that’s a lot? Twenty-three neighborhoods in New York City alone are going after the bid, too.) With less than a month left until the October 19 deadline, here are all the cities and towns in and around Philly now vying for Amazon’s HQ2.
With Mayor Jim Kenney’s dad joke heard around the world, Philly officially threw its hang into the ring within hours of Amazon’s announcement, touting its affordability compared to other major U.S. cities. Curbed readers had a lot of suggestions as to where the headquarters could set up shop, but it appears that three locations are seriously being considered: Schuylkill Yards, the Navy Yard, and uCity Square.
Philly’s pitch, per the mayor’s office:
Obviously, this is going to be a very competitive process. Philadelphia will be submitting a proposal and given their preference for a city with over 1,000,000 people, Philadelphia would provide them with a perfectly located East Coast hub where they have access to a rapidly growing millennial talent pool. We’re also much more affordable than other nearby east coast cities with similar population sizes.
Camden will be Philly’s closest competitor, as it’s located just across the Delaware River. On Tuesday, September 19, the Camden County Board of Freeholders announced that they would begin crafting a proposal to bring Amazon HQ2 to its city. Officials argue that the city has direct access to mass transportation, including major highways and the Philadelphia International Airport, and a big labor pool.
This beach town has had its fare share of lows in recent years—it has one of the highest foreclosure rates in the country. Nonetheless, city officials say it’s worthy of the e-commerce giant. Per the Press of Atlantic City:
Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson said the county is prepared to offer an aggressive package, including possibly millions of dollars in tax breaks, to entice Amazon to build its second North American headquarters in the region.
This township in Bucks County has said it will attempt to allure Amazon to 675 acres of mostly undeveloped land along its riverfront. Recently, this site was rezoned in 2015 for use of offices, manufacturing, and “high-tech enterprise.” Although its population is just 60,427, Bensalem says it’s worthy of Amazon due to its location near major highways and 45 minutes from the Philly airport.
Last but not least, the biggest city in the First State is pitching itself to Amazon, as well. Wilmington, the hometown of former vice president Joe Biden, is home to a lot of corporate headquarters, including Bank of America and ING. In an official statement released by the state of Delaware, Governor John Carney said:
Delaware is centrally located, with easy access to international airports, extensive railroads, shipping ports, and major interstates. Combine our location with the state’s ability to work quickly and collaboratively with government, business, and academic leaders, and it becomes clear why Delaware would be an attractive option for Amazon.
Update: Delaware County
Perhaps Philly’s closest neighbor, Delaware County, announced the day before proposals were due that it had submitted its own proposal to Amazon. It pitched two sites for HQ2, including a waterfront development in Chester near the Major League Soccer's Philadelphia Union stadium and a suburban campus-like development seven miles away, totaling 200 acres.
Proposals to Amazon are due by October 19. Stay tuned.