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Where in Philly could Amazon build its new headquarters?
Photo by Melissa Romero

9 prime places in Philly for Amazon’s HQ2, mapped

Readers shared where in Philly they think the Amazon’s second headquarters could set up shop

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Where in Philly could Amazon build its new headquarters?
| Photo by Melissa Romero

Last week, Amazon made big waves in cities across the nation when it announced that it is on the hunt for a place to build its second headquarters in a U.S. city and metro of more than one million people.

The plan calls for a headquarters that could cost $5 billion and will house at least 50,000 employees. The development would be on par with its current Seattle headquarters, which totals 8.1 million square feet and 33 buildings.

Philly said it will throw its hat into the ring, touting its affordability, growing millennial population, and location. But we wondered: Where exactly could this massive headquarters actually get built? Curbed readers got the job done by offering up specific neighborhoods and locations throughout Philly that, in Mayor Jim Kenney’s words, could potentially be “prime” spots for Amazon to set up shop.

Here are your top recommendations, listed in order from west to east.

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1. 4601 Market St

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4601 Market St
Philadelphia, PA 19139

As one reader pointed out via Facebook, “There's a very nice building available at 46th and Market just now. Cheap, too.” Previous plans called for 4601 Market to become Philly police’s new headquarters, but with the move scrapped for another location, this historic behemoth is now up for grabs yet again.

Why it could work: The city already spent $50 million renovating the place, and its location right next to the 46th Street Station on the Market El-Frankford Line makes it highly accessible via public transportation. The site spans 15 acres.

2. Grays Ferry

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Grays Ferry
Philadelphia, PA

Across the Schuylkill from University City is Grays Ferry, where University of Pennsylvania’s Pennovation center serves as the neighborhood’s newest anchor. Penn owns a 23-acre property here that it plans to build out in phases.

Why it could work: The area is considered one of the neighborhoods to watch this year, with property values still affordable. It’s located right off 76 and along the Schuylkill River Trail. The site where Pennovation sits also has a rich history as an industrial and research hub that dates back to the 1860s.

Photo by Melissa Romero

3. Schuylkill Yards

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One Drexel Plaza
Philadelphia, PA 19104

In a Curbed Philly poll, the Schuylkill Yards came out on top, with 37 percent of readers saying that the yet-to-be-built innovation hub should be home to Amazon’s HQ2. As one reader strongly put it, “Nothing except Schuylkill Yards means the city is putting its best foot forward. We would actively harm our chances by stealing from its limelight and marketing around an inferior site.”

Why it could work: The $3.5 billion mixed-use venture between Drexel University and Brandywine Realty Trust ticks off a lot of Amazon’s must-haves, including: 1) Location, since the future site is located right by Philly’s major transportation hub 30th Street Station; and 2) Additional space to build upon—it’s a 14-acre site with 6.9 million square feet of development planned and 6.5 acres of green space.

A rendering of Schuylkill Yards in Philadelphia. In the foreground is a park with trees and a lawn. In the distance are tall skyscrapers and buildings. Renderings by SHOP Architects/West 8

4. 30th Street Station District

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2955 Market St
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Not far from Schuylkill Yards is 30th Street Station, which is already looking for a master developer to implement Amtrak’s ambitious $6.5 billion 30th Street Station District Plan. This endeavor not only plans to overhaul the historic train station itself, but also build 18 million square feet of new development and 40 acres of green space.

Why it could work: One reader says the site of the station’s rail yards would be the perfect spot for Amazon HQ2. “This area is large enough for a campus of Amazon’s wildest dreams, [and] it’d be right next to and over mass transit, and be located between the central office district and University City. What a better site for a couple of trophy office buildings.”

Photo by Melissa Romero

5. The Navy Yard

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4747 S Broad St #120
Philadelphia, PA 19112
(215) 551-0251
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The Navy Yard is another obvious spot for Amazon’s new headquarters, garnering 26 percent of readers’ votes in a Curbed Philly poll. Since Urban Outfitters first moved its own HQ here years ago, dozens of other companies have moved to the campus, either converting old buildings and warehouses into their offices or building new offices from the ground up.

Why it could work: The massive campus on the Delaware River has plenty more space and land for Amazon to set up shop, and its location right next to a major U.S. port is another bonus. And while there are free shuttles from Center City to the Navy Yard, this could be the push needed to finally extend the Broad Street Line to the neighborhood.

Courtesy of Rasmus Hjortshøj–COAST

6. Callowhill

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Callowhill
Philadelphia, PA

Curbed readers weren’t the only ones to consider this neighborhood for Amazon’s HQ2. Benjamin’s Desk Chief Design Officer Adam Glaser told Technical.ly Philly that Callowhill is definitely an ideal location.

Why it could work: This long-overlooked neighborhood is ripe for development, with already a number of companies moving into the area’s abandoned warehouses and the Rail Park soon to open. In fact, Callowhill has been named Philly’s fast-emerging neighborhood, with lots of young professionals moving in and plenty of developable land up for grabs. It’s also easily accessible via the Broad Street Line and walkable to Center City.

Photo by Melissa Romero

7. North Station District

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N Broad St
Philadelphia, PA

In the Curbed Philly poll, North Philly came in third with 20 percent of the vote for Amazon’s new headquarters. One reader wrote, “Perfect location and cheaper than downtown and South Philly.”

Why it could work: North Broad is already undergoing some much-needed revitalization, and developers are eyeing areas up past Temple, where there are lots of abandoned warehouses and vacant land up for grabs. Its location makes it a prime spot for a transit-oriented mixed-use development, says Philadelphia 3.0.

SGA

8. Franklin Square area

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200 N 6th St
Philadelphia, PA 19106

One reader suggested putting Amazon’s HQ2 “piece-meal on those parking lots near the police HQ and the Ben Franklin Bridge ramps.” And Vox’s Matty Yglesias concurred.

Why it could work: “It is close to downtown and transit access while there is a lot of developable land,” the reader wrote. That includes an entire new neighborhood that totals 7.75 acres and is looking to be developed.

9. 2450 W Hunting Park Ave

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2450 W Hunting Park Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19129

One readers suggests going where Philly is already zoned for industrial: Northeast Philly. Old warehouses like the the Budd building in the Hunting Park neighborhood “might be a perfect location.”

Why it could work: As mentioned, this area at the edge of Philly is already zoned for industrial use, and there’s plenty of developable land for Amazon to expand in the future (the plant totals 20 buildings and 2.4 million square feet on 75 acres.) Although it is far from Center City, “the area is served by multiple bus lines and is close to the newly renovated Wayne Junction Regional rail station.”

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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1. 4601 Market St

4601 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19139

As one reader pointed out via Facebook, “There's a very nice building available at 46th and Market just now. Cheap, too.” Previous plans called for 4601 Market to become Philly police’s new headquarters, but with the move scrapped for another location, this historic behemoth is now up for grabs yet again.

Why it could work: The city already spent $50 million renovating the place, and its location right next to the 46th Street Station on the Market El-Frankford Line makes it highly accessible via public transportation. The site spans 15 acres.

4601 Market St
Philadelphia, PA 19139

2. Grays Ferry

Grays Ferry, Philadelphia, PA
Photo by Melissa Romero

Across the Schuylkill from University City is Grays Ferry, where University of Pennsylvania’s Pennovation center serves as the neighborhood’s newest anchor. Penn owns a 23-acre property here that it plans to build out in phases.

Why it could work: The area is considered one of the neighborhoods to watch this year, with property values still affordable. It’s located right off 76 and along the Schuylkill River Trail. The site where Pennovation sits also has a rich history as an industrial and research hub that dates back to the 1860s.

Grays Ferry
Philadelphia, PA

3. Schuylkill Yards

One Drexel Plaza, Philadelphia, PA 19104
A rendering of Schuylkill Yards in Philadelphia. In the foreground is a park with trees and a lawn. In the distance are tall skyscrapers and buildings. Renderings by SHOP Architects/West 8

In a Curbed Philly poll, the Schuylkill Yards came out on top, with 37 percent of readers saying that the yet-to-be-built innovation hub should be home to Amazon’s HQ2. As one reader strongly put it, “Nothing except Schuylkill Yards means the city is putting its best foot forward. We would actively harm our chances by stealing from its limelight and marketing around an inferior site.”

Why it could work: The $3.5 billion mixed-use venture between Drexel University and Brandywine Realty Trust ticks off a lot of Amazon’s must-haves, including: 1) Location, since the future site is located right by Philly’s major transportation hub 30th Street Station; and 2) Additional space to build upon—it’s a 14-acre site with 6.9 million square feet of development planned and 6.5 acres of green space.

One Drexel Plaza
Philadelphia, PA 19104

4. 30th Street Station District

2955 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Photo by Melissa Romero

Not far from Schuylkill Yards is 30th Street Station, which is already looking for a master developer to implement Amtrak’s ambitious $6.5 billion 30th Street Station District Plan. This endeavor not only plans to overhaul the historic train station itself, but also build 18 million square feet of new development and 40 acres of green space.

Why it could work: One reader says the site of the station’s rail yards would be the perfect spot for Amazon HQ2. “This area is large enough for a campus of Amazon’s wildest dreams, [and] it’d be right next to and over mass transit, and be located between the central office district and University City. What a better site for a couple of trophy office buildings.”

2955 Market St
Philadelphia, PA 19104

5. The Navy Yard

4747 S Broad St #120, Philadelphia, PA 19112
Courtesy of Rasmus Hjortshøj–COAST

The Navy Yard is another obvious spot for Amazon’s new headquarters, garnering 26 percent of readers’ votes in a Curbed Philly poll. Since Urban Outfitters first moved its own HQ here years ago, dozens of other companies have moved to the campus, either converting old buildings and warehouses into their offices or building new offices from the ground up.

Why it could work: The massive campus on the Delaware River has plenty more space and land for Amazon to set up shop, and its location right next to a major U.S. port is another bonus. And while there are free shuttles from Center City to the Navy Yard, this could be the push needed to finally extend the Broad Street Line to the neighborhood.

4747 S Broad St #120
Philadelphia, PA 19112

6. Callowhill

Callowhill, Philadelphia, PA
Photo by Melissa Romero

Curbed readers weren’t the only ones to consider this neighborhood for Amazon’s HQ2. Benjamin’s Desk Chief Design Officer Adam Glaser told Technical.ly Philly that Callowhill is definitely an ideal location.

Why it could work: This long-overlooked neighborhood is ripe for development, with already a number of companies moving into the area’s abandoned warehouses and the Rail Park soon to open. In fact, Callowhill has been named Philly’s fast-emerging neighborhood, with lots of young professionals moving in and plenty of developable land up for grabs. It’s also easily accessible via the Broad Street Line and walkable to Center City.

Callowhill
Philadelphia, PA

7. North Station District

N Broad St, Philadelphia, PA
SGA

In the Curbed Philly poll, North Philly came in third with 20 percent of the vote for Amazon’s new headquarters. One reader wrote, “Perfect location and cheaper than downtown and South Philly.”

Why it could work: North Broad is already undergoing some much-needed revitalization, and developers are eyeing areas up past Temple, where there are lots of abandoned warehouses and vacant land up for grabs. Its location makes it a prime spot for a transit-oriented mixed-use development, says Philadelphia 3.0.

N Broad St
Philadelphia, PA

8. Franklin Square area

200 N 6th St, Philadelphia, PA 19106

One reader suggested putting Amazon’s HQ2 “piece-meal on those parking lots near the police HQ and the Ben Franklin Bridge ramps.” And Vox’s Matty Yglesias concurred.

Why it could work: “It is close to downtown and transit access while there is a lot of developable land,” the reader wrote. That includes an entire new neighborhood that totals 7.75 acres and is looking to be developed.

200 N 6th St
Philadelphia, PA 19106

9. 2450 W Hunting Park Ave

2450 W Hunting Park Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19129
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

One readers suggests going where Philly is already zoned for industrial: Northeast Philly. Old warehouses like the the Budd building in the Hunting Park neighborhood “might be a perfect location.”

Why it could work: As mentioned, this area at the edge of Philly is already zoned for industrial use, and there’s plenty of developable land for Amazon to expand in the future (the plant totals 20 buildings and 2.4 million square feet on 75 acres.) Although it is far from Center City, “the area is served by multiple bus lines and is close to the newly renovated Wayne Junction Regional rail station.”

2450 W Hunting Park Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19129