PHILADELPHIA – This morning at the Barnes Foundation, Mayor Jim Kenney thanked the diverse coalition that made the Philadelphia region’s bid for Amazon HQ2 possible, following the official submission of the proposal to Amazon.
“The support we received from the leaders and the residents of this region in preparing our bid for HQ2 is really inspiring – not only because we received so much support, but also because we received it from so many different types of people,” said Mayor Kenney. “Thanks to their insight, we were able to show that Philadelphia is in the Goldilocks zone for Amazon. Our location is central on the Northeast corridor, our talent pool is vast, and Philadelphia has all of the amenities Amazon’s employees want, at a lower cost than other big cities.”
More than 65 college and university presidents and over 150 business leaders signed letters of support for Philadelphia’s bid. More than 90 entrepreneurs and tech start-ups also provided testimonials. Wharton students organized two different competitions around the bid and Campus Philly surveyed local students about how HQ2 would impact them. Philadelphia’s ethnic business associations, small businesses and community development associations participated in weekly calls and shared their perspectives on the Philadelphia region’s proposal. Visit Philadelphia and PHLCVB lent their resources and years of expertise illustrating Philadelphia’s greatness. City Council and our state officials made a strong case for Philadelphia as Amazon’s new home. Elected leaders from each of the 11 counties across the Philadelphia region committed to supporting HQ2 in Greater Philadelphia, regardless of where it lands in the region. Philadelphians participated in #PhillyDelivers social campaign that reached nearly 5 million people in the last month. Tonight, Cira Centre and FMC Tower at Cira Centre South will have a coordinated lighting display, thanks to the support of Brandywine Realty Trust . One Liberty Place and Boathouse Row will also be lit in blue, the City’s color. The PECO building will display #PhillyDelivers.
“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the Philadelphia region. The process of mounting the bid cemented my belief that Philadelphia is perfectly suited for Amazon. We have the talent, size, space, location and leadership that a great company like Amazon wants. After working with so many exceptional leaders, including Mayor Jim Kenney, John Grady at PIDC, Commerce Director Harold Epps, and Matt Cabrey at Select Greater Philadelphia, I really like our chances. Even better, the process has helped to galvanize business and government leaders across the Philadelphia region like never before, raising our profile and positioning us to attract and support other businesses,” said John Fry, President of Drexel University and Board Chair of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia, which hosted this morning’s event.
At the event, the City also unveiled the immersive website that accompanied its proposal. The website includes interactive maps and videos highlighting the Philadelphia region’s talent, logistics, livability and three proposed sites for Amazon. This creative proposal was constructed by an all-Philadelphia team consisting of the Tactile Group, Leveler, Azavea, Skai Blue Media, Interface Studio and J2 Design. Nearly 30 representatives from Philadelphia’s arts, culture, culinary, athletic, business and real estate sectors also lent their voices for the five videos, including Executive Vice President of Wilco Electronic Systems, Brigitte Daniel.
Daniel spoke about why she chose Philadelphia at this morning’s event, “Access to the amazing talent coming out of our more than 100 colleges and universities is fueling our pipeline of growth. Combine that fact with our excellent quality of life, and it is easy to recruit new talent here from around the world. For technology companies like Amazon, Greater Philadelphia’s talent capital is critical to long-term success in this region, across the country and around the world.”
Philadelphia’s bid proposed three urban site options that are ready to accommodate Amazon’s full development program immediately, uCity Square and Schuylkill Yards in University City and the Navy Yard. University City is a world-class innovation district, adjacent to downtown, surrounded by top-ranked universities and anchored by the third-busiest train station nationwide. The Navy Yard is a thriving riverfront neighborhood minutes from Center City. It is widely considered the most successful redevelopment of a former military facility in the country, and offers plenty of room to grow. All three sites are located within 15 minutes of the Philadelphia International Airport.
Mayor Kenney concluded his remarks at today’s event by announcing his plans to visit Philadelphia businesses to hear directly from the city’s CEOs and employees how we can build off the Amazon HQ2 bid and strengthen Philadelphia’s business attraction and retention efforts year-round. The “Philadelphia Delivers” tour will kick off at WeWork on October 23 at 5:30 PM.