PHILADELPHIA – The City of Philadelphia’s response to the Amazon RFP for a second corporate headquarters (HQ2), submitted in October of 2017, is available here. In light of the firm’s decision to locate HQ2 elsewhere, the City has determined that releasing information on the City’s proposed financial incentives and certain other information will no longer harm its competitive advantage, and so that information is no longer redacted in the document.
The Mayor’s statement can be found here. In addition, stakeholders who participated in the development of the proposal released the following statements:
Daniel J. Hilferty, president and CEO of Independence Health Group, and chairman of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia:
We are very proud that Amazon chose Philadelphia as a finalist in their bid for new headquarters. We should not see this announcement as a failure, but as an achievement. Through the unified efforts of an outstanding team of leaders, we were able to raise awareness of everything Greater Philadelphia has to offer and solidified the message that our region is on the rise. The positive effects of the team’s efforts – including increased interest from businesses, the news media and other key groups – were immediate and will only continue to grow. My congratulations to everyone involved in Philadelphia’s HQ2 process. It truly is the start of something great. We are now poised for exceptional opportunity and growth, which I know that we will achieve through partnerships and original thinking.
John Grady, President PIDC
The Amazon HQ2 process has been an incredible opportunity for Philadelphia and as a top 20 finalist out of a field of 238, we are proud of our performance. This gave us an opportunity to come together to develop new data, messages, and communications tools to support and promote Philadelphia on a national stage. We have gained a terrific set of reusable assets and learned important lessons that will be valuable in promoting Philadelphia for talent and business attraction in the future.
Rakia Reynolds, Founder and CEO, Skai Blue Media
As the Creative Director for our proposal (and as a small business owner) it was especially exciting and rewarding to lead efforts on the creative direction and the visual communications strategy for the Amazon HQ2 bid. Through the process, we were able to connect, rally, and collaborate with the local community of talent and business owners to tout all we have to offer as a world-class city. We are proud of the creative assets developed from this bid and know they will continue to be a resource and tool for future economic growth and business attraction.
Matt Cabrey, Executive Director, Select Greater Philadelphia, a Council of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia
This has been a successful and rewarding process, allowing us to showcase the business and quality of life assets that make our 11 county community of northern Delaware, southern New Jersey, and southeastern Pennsylvania such a special place to establish and grow a business and a career, and a place to live, work, play, innovate, create and raise a family.
We at Select Greater Philadelphia, working in unison with our economic development partners – and with academic, business and civic leaders from across our community – are consistently working to attract new companies and new jobs to our region, and this opportunity to engage in the Amazon HQ2 RFP process advanced our collaborative efforts to new heights, and for that, we are very fortunate.
Our awareness-building and attraction activities have been bolstered. In fact, we at Select Greater Philadelphia are advancing conversations with a major life sciences firm that is considering our community for their expansion location; hosting guests from the financial services sector for tours this week so they can collect data and meet leaders here to help determine our “fit” for their needs; and continuing to maximize the Amazon spotlight to position our regional assets in the hearts and minds of business leaders, site selectors and decision makers from around the world.
While we are disappointed that our community was not selected, we are happy to build on the energy and excitement that this process has provided for our 11 county neighborhood of Greater Philadelphia. This outcome shows just how subjective these kinds of objective processes can be. Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said it best in a recent interview and to paraphrase: “collect as much data as you can, and go with your heart.” The outcome is surprising only in that our Greater Philadelphia community fits so perfectly with the criteria outlined in the RFP. Other regions apparently do too.
Jeff Guaracino, President & CEO, VISIT PHILADELPHIA®
Philadelphia always dreams big, and we’ll continue to do so. Philadelphia has long been a place for creative, determined people to live, work, play and innovate, and the region is better positioned than ever before to attract new businesses. Plus, with Crystal City, Virginia, 143 miles to our southwest and Long Island City, New York, 101 miles to our northeast, Philly is positioned—literally—to bring new visitors from these hot spots. The locations for Amazon’s new headquarters will bring a new buzz to the east coast, and we’re glad to be nearby.
We’re always rooting for Philly and confident we’ll see continued investment in our region from business leaders, entrepreneurs and changemakers. Big congratulations and best wishes to New York City and Arlington!
Deborah Diamond, President, Campus Philly
The talent case that Philadelphia made for Amazon HQ2 couldn’t have been claimed a decade ago. But a 98% increase in college educated 25-34 year olds over the last 15 years means that Philadelphia is a place businesses will want to be and grow. The Amazon HQ2 process was an opportunity for our city and regional stakeholders to realize and embrace our regional assets, including the incredible talent that exists on our college and university campuses. Campus Philly is excited to build off this new perspective to help college talent start, stay and grow in Philadelphia.
Ben Lieberman, Leveler Media
Last year, the people of Philadelphia came together to show off what we’ve spent several decades becoming – a truly world-class city, overflowing with talent, culture, and opportunity, perfectly positioned to grow and evolve through the 21st century. That so many of our best and brightest leaders were immediately willing to lend their voices to the project speaks volumes about the character of our community.
Leveler Media was thrilled to create the video series in an effort to distill and define that character for audiences worldwide, and we continue to be inspired by the efforts of the entire Philadelphia Delivers team. In fact, we like to think the spirit of collaboration and brotherly love that emerged from this project may end up meaning more to this city than any corporate office ever could. Thank you, Philadelphia – on to the next one!
Scott Page, Principal Interface Studio LLC
It was an honor and a pleasure to work as part of the interdisciplinary team convened to craft the Philadelphia Delivers proposal. The City and PIDC embraced the HQ2 design challenge as a valuable opportunity to convene a diverse range of perspectives and skill sets to dream about the future of our city. The research, strategy, and resulting message make a powerful case for Philadelphia, sharing renewed narratives of growth and creativity alive in this city of firsts with audiences far and wide. The focused design sprint sparked by HQ2 yielded a coordinated playbook for growth and change and left our hometown poised for many new opportunities.
Robert Cheetham, Azavea
We were honored to collaborate with the talented partners involved in the HQ2 process. The ability for so many technical and creative companies to work together was inspiring and truly represents what Philadelphia has to offer. The resulting Philadelphia Delivers website is a showcase of how open data, geospatial data analysis, and design can work together to strengthen a city’s message for economic development. We look forward to future opportunities to partner together and do meaningful work for our city and region.