Philadelphia has thrown its hat into the ring to become Amazon’s corporate home away from home, vying with the likes of Austin, Tex., and Washington, D.C. in its bid to host a second headquarters for the Seattle company.
Officials submitted their proposal prior to a Thursday morning event in which Mayor Kenney thanked city figures who aided in the bid process.
”The support we received from the leaders and the residents of this region in preparing our bid … is really inspiring — not just because we received so much support, but also because we received it from so many different types of people,” Kenney said in prepared remarks distributed at the start of the event. “Thanks to their insight, we were able to show that Philadelphia is in the Goldilocks zone for Amazon,” with a prime location, deep talent pool and rich amenities, at a lower cost than other big cities.
The city’s pitch revolves around The Schuylkill Yards and uCity Square sites in West Philadelphia and South Philadelphia’s Navy Yard, Kenney said. Those sites have been portrayed as the most promising locations for the Amazon campus because of their size and single ownership.
Amazon.com Inc. has said it plans to employ 50,000 skilled workers at the second headquarters campus, nicknamed HQ2. The plans call for spending $5 billion to develop millions of square feet of office space.
Municipalities throughout the Philadelphia region were expected to join the city in submitting bids Thursday, the deadline set by Amazon for receiving proposals.
Across the Delaware River, Camden has said it plans a bid that highlights the ample land that can be developed on the Delaware River, the city’s transit links, and the availability of housing for the company’s growing staff.
Atlantic and Gloucester Counties have said they plan pitches of their own.
Within Pennsylvania, Bensalem Township said it wants Amazon to take part of a 675-acre riverfront tract of mostly undeveloped land for the headquarters. Delaware County and Chester City officials said they plan to offer as many as three Chester sites in the proposal, prioritizing the city’s waterfront as the most viable location.
A proposal was expected from the state of Delaware and Newcastle County as well.