Philly’s official Amazon HQ2 bid names University City, Navy Yard as possible sites

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By Melissa Romero | October 19, 2017 | Curbed Philly

Philly is officially in the running for Amazon’s second headquarters, after the city submitted its pitch to the e-commerce giant today complete with a new website, a series of hype videos, dozens of letters of support, and three proposed sites for HQ2.

“I just want to say, we’re gonna win this,” said Mayor Jim Kenney.

The mayor was at the Barnes Foundation this morning to thank the hundreds of people who played a role in creating the city’s pitch to bring Amazon and its estimated $5 billion headquarters and 50,000 new jobs to Philadelphia.

Philly’s official bid establishes itself as being in the “Goldilocks” zone for Amazon, or as Mayor Kenney put it, “Just right.” It proposes three locations in two Philly neighborhoods for Amazon’s second headquarters that should not come as a surprise: University City’s Schuylkill Yards and uCity Square, and the Navy Yard.

The trio was chosen because all sites are ready for development. The $1 billion uCity Square’s development in University City is already under construction, and Schuylkill Yards, a $3.5 billion development of Drexel and Brandywine Realty Trust, has permits in hand. Navy Yard has already attracted hundreds of companies to its large site on the Delaware River and continues to expand.

The city also launched an immersive website that include the official bid, interactive maps, the three proposed sites, and all of the videos that tout Philly’s livability, talent, and logistics, with cameos from restauranteurs and entrepreneurs to Penn’s president Amy Gutmann to Comcast CEO Brian Roberts.

More than 200 local business leaders, as well as various community development groups, students, and people from all over the city participated in the creation of the bid. Although the the announcement was made six weeks ago, much of the bid process was squeezed into three weeks, said Marc Coleman of Tactile Group, which developed the website.

Amazon first broke the internet a little over a month ago when it announced that it was looking for a new place in North America for its second headquarters. It is currently located in Seattle on a 8.1-million-square-foot campus.

The requirements included a location within a North American city and metro area of more than one million people that could attract and retain tech talent. And of course, enough land to build its mega-campus.