With the disclose of Philadelphia’s bid to become the location chosen for Amazon’s second headquarters, residents see where the city believes its strengths lie. The detailed document, some of which is not being released, shows possible locations, including the Navy Yard and two sites in University City. Some residents already had input in the bid proposal, including Wharton students and civic organizations.
Philadelphia highlighted the city’s robust public transportation system in its proposal, which includes SEPTA for getting around the city and Amtrak trains to reach New York and Washington DC easily. Other highlights include University City’s diversity and large millennial population.
Since Amazon is expected to bring up to 50,000 jobs to the city it chooses, the stakes are high. Philadelphia usually makes the top six cities among both business analysts and betting websites. The city’s concentration of prestigious universities and its strategic location are most often cited. Most business analysts put Philadelphia coming in fourth, behind Atlanta, Boston and Chicago.
Since no one knows what incentives Philly offered Amazon, it is hard to say who will win. One thing is certain, Philly will not be resorting to stunts like the town that changed its name to Amazon or sending presents to Amazon’s HQ, which they cannot accept.
After Amazon collected 238 proposals, consistently being in the top six candidates, at least according to reputable business news analysis websites, Philly is doing well. Amazon has stated that it wanted to locate to a city with one million plus residents, a nearby international airport and a robust public transportation system; all of which Philly has in its favor. A strong tech workforce is also on Amazon’s wish list; Drexel, LaSalle and Temple graduate students with high tech skills each year, while Wharton turns out business and management graduates to fill other positions.
Amazon will make the final site selection in 2018; they have not set a definite date yet.