Various leaders in Philadelphia are campaigning for the city to be the home of Amazon’s next headquarters.
Amazon is seeking a city for its second headquarters, and many Philadelphians, like Mayor of Philadelphia Jim Kenney, have said that they believe that Philadelphia would be a mutually beneficial choice.
Penn President Amy Gutmann agrees.
“For starters: Amazon continues to be incredibly innovative as a creative, growing global company that is transforming the way we live and learn,” she said. “Philadelphia has so much to offer for any innovative company – top talent, ideas and creativity from our universities, partnerships with global companies, one of the best health care systems in the world, and a city rich with culture as well as a high quality of life,” Gutmann said in an interview to the Huffington Post.
Gutmann's comments come after students welcomed a new Amazon package pick-up location at the building of the 1920s Commons dining hall in May last year.
The online giant, which recently acquired Whole Foods Market, sent out a request for location proposals last Thursday, with applications due October 19th. A decision is expected next year. Amazon plans to hire as many as 50,000 new employees and invest over $5 billion for its second headquarters.
The request indicated a preference for a city with over one million people, a “stable and business-friendly environment,” a location which includes both urban and suburban areas and “communities that think big and creatively when considering locations and real estate options.”
Mayor Kenney said to HuffPost “the economics gains that a company like Amazon could bring to our city are unparalleled. We have never seen an influx of jobs like this.”
The City recently launched an online form called “Help make sure #PhillyDelivers for Amazon” to gather feedback from Philadelphians. The form lists the city’s affordability, fast-growing millennial population and convenient location on the east coast as reasons to host Amazon’s second headquarters.
A Forbes article said that the fact that Philadelphia economy has only been growing quickly for a few years is a strength, as it means there is plenty of space for industries to grow. It also pointed out that there are several practical locations in the city that could house Amazon’s 8 million square foot including the Navy Yard, 30th Street Station District, uCity Square and Pennovation Works.
Deborah Diamond, the President for Campus Philly, said to BillyPenn that Philadelphia’s unique density of higher education institutions could supply the young and large talent pool that Amazon needs.
However, some have said that Philadelphia does not have the reputation of a thriving job market in comparison to larger East Coast cities, like Boston, New York or Washington DC. The Philadelphia Inquirer also pointed out that Amazon’s presence in Philadelphia could drive up housing prices, as it did in Seattle, its original location.
Other cities that are vying to host Amazon’s second headquarters include Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Toronto, Dallas, Austin, Boston and Washington, DC.