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Amazon narrows list of HQ2 contenders—and Philly might not make the cut

Northern Virginia, New York, and Dallas are the top cities

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It looks Philly may not be the spot for Amazon’s second headquarters after all, according to a report published this weekend by the Wall Street Journal.

The report cited people “familiar with the matter,” who claimed the top contenders for the online retail giant’s next home were Crystal City, Virginia (just outside of D.C.), Dallas, and New York City.

Another report published in the Washington Post on Saturday, put Crystal City at the top of the list, saying city officials there were in advanced talks with Amazon, according to people “close to the process.”

However, not all hope is lost for Philly. The city is still on Amazon’s short list of 20 potential sites for its next headquarters, and there’s a possibility the company could put smaller sites in runner-up cities, according to the Wall Street Journal report.

Even if Philly doesn’t get tapped, the city has still put in a good effort. Philly was placed on the shortlist in January, as one of the potential spots for Amazon’s next, $5 billion headquarters, housing 50,000 employees (at least). Since then, the potential development seems to have sat in the mind of city and council officials. When the rail park opened in Callowhill in the summer, Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin hinted that the park and projects like it, could help attract businesses like Amazon.

“Businesses will want to come here. Maybe big businesses, maybe really big businesses... There’s one that begins with an ‘A’,” he said at the time.

And, while city council members discussed a major construction tax bill in the spring, one of the big questions that came up was how the potential tax would affect developments like Amazon, who might be deterred from building in the city because of the extra cost. Council members then added an amendment to the bill, saying that Keystone Opportunity Zones—which were all of the areas that Amazon could build in if they chose Philly—would be exempt from the tax.

At the moment, it’s just a waiting game, but Philadelphians can be comfortable in the knowledge that their rent prices aren’t bumping up because of the online giant—at least for now.

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