Amazon’s Next Headquarters: Why Not Philadelphia?

IMG_2351 Unless this is your first time looking at any kind of internet-connected device in a few weeks, you probably know that Amazon recently released its list of finalists for its second headquarters. There are quite a few strong contenders, including our own city of Philadelphia as well as nearby New York, Newark, and Washington, D.C. We’re not going to say that we’re completely unbiased but we gotta ask: why not Philly? Analysts have projected the next Amazon HQ will come along with 50,000 Amazon workers– plus 66,250 “supplemental” workers– to whichever region wins the bid. What does that mean for Philly? Would we even want that? Let’s go over some pros and cons.
Philly’s original bid back in October came along with promises of easily-accessible and already-available office spaces, affordable living for workers, and a whole lot of talent to choose from. (Basically most of the reasons Philadelphians already love their city.) Want to read more about the bid? TThe Inquirer snagged a (heavily redacted) copy which included a few potential sites. (Hint: The Navy Yard is one.) 

So we have the space, we have the people power, but what makes Philly the best option? Let’s talk about some of Philly’s accomplishments in the last few years that’s brought it from “kinda cool old city between New York and D.C.” to must-visit destination. 

Pope Francis made an appearance during the World Meeting of Families in 2015 – This was a big one! September of 2015 was when Philly proved to the world that despite our narrow colonial streets, we could handle a huge influx of travelers, diplomats, and press outlets from all over the world. It wasn’t without a few struggles but we managed to pull it off. 

Philadelphia became the nation’s first World Heritage City – Autumn 2015 was a big time for the 215. In November, Philly became the country’s first UNESCO World Heritage City. Surprised? We’re not. Between the 67 National Historic Landmarks and beautiful old architecture, we’d say it was the right decision. 

The Democratic National Convention came to Philly in 2016 – Of course there was some drama surrounding it but that wasn’t Philly’s fault. In fact, Philadelphians stepped it up and welcomed visitors with all kinds of art and other enriching experiences

Philly’s tech scene is doing great things – Alright, so Metro may be right— we’re no Silicon Valley. However, Philly’s got a thriving tech scene, one that’s only going to keep getting better and better with a little bit of help. The completion of Comcast’s new skyscraper is estimated to bring 1,500 tech jobs to the city alone. Philly Tech Week is a great example of startups in action. (Obviously, we’re excited for this part the most.)

The City of Philadelphia has also been transparent with sharing goals and accomplishments on their website. Some initiatives include housing the homeless, inspiring Philadelphians to make healthier choices, and making mental health a priority.

What do you think? Can Philly be Amazon’s next home?

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