In the last two weeks following the acquisition of Amazon Whole Foods, Amazon managed to deliver a little package of pure marketing genius. The American giant has sent municipal officials into a deep research as to why they should be the second headquarter of Amazon. In this move, Amazon can be seen as launching another version of the Survivor: Urban Edition. The only difference with the former version is that the city that wins the race gets to pay Amazon. The announcement has thrown urbanist pundits into a race to find the suitor city. Even before the end of the day after the announcement was made, the New York Times through a column called the Upshot declared the winner as Denver.
On the other hand, Charlotte, North Carolina was declared as the winner by the Brookings Institute. Richard Florida sees Washington as the most suitable city while Boston was chosen by the Bloomberg. However, all this happens to be fine as they are lively places. The thing that these people have forgotten is that Amazon said that it was looking to employ 50,000 employees in two decades. This requires a home base where Amazon can implement a long term interest. This place needs to have a rich cultural life, a place with a strong sense as well as a place with well-built infrastructure. At the same time, the chosen area should have a great transit connection. Going by these descriptions, the most suitable city is Philadelphia.
Even though Amazon didn’t suggest these qualifications in its proposal, it’s a correct guess that they want a place that is different from the current Seattle headquarters. The East Coast provides the most suitable solution. It would also form the jumping point should Amazon have the desire to colonize Europe. Amazon should not choose Denver due to its high altitude. At the same time, Denver has an inconvenient airport. From the Amazon proposal, the company expressed their desire for three things. They asked for diversity, walkability as well as density. When it comes to these three areas, Philadelphia offers them at an affordable cost. Philadelphia is also rich with a pool of talent where Amazon can choose from. There are makers and millennials in the city of Philadelphia. Harold Epps who is the commerce director alongside the president of Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation John Grady are working day and night to prepare a proposal. The deadline is 19th October.