October 16, 2017
A coalition pitching Philadelphia as a landing spot for Amazon's second headquarters released a short video Monday touting the city's strategic location.
The video – dubbed "Philadelphia Delivers: Logistics" – cites Philly's location between New York City and Washington, D.C., as a logistical advantage, noting the two cities are less than a two-hour train ride away.
It also highlights the short commute to Philadelphia International Airport, which boasts some 500 daily flights, and heralds various innovation hubs and corporate partnerships.
City officials are trying to lure Amazon, which is seeking to spend more than $5 billion to build another headquarters in North America. The Seattle-based company says the new space will bring as many as 50,000 new full-time jobs over the next 15 years
Amazon's Seattle campus takes up 8.1 million square feet, has 33 buildings and 24 restaurants and is home to more than 40,000 employees.
The video, produced by Leveler Media, is expected to commence a weeklong #PhillyDelivers campaign. Two other videos will be released before Amazon's official proposal deadline on Thursday.
The video includes interviews with Curalate co-founder Apu Gupta, Vanguard CEO Bill McNabb, Wharton professor Adam Grant and Brigitte Daniel, executive vice president of Wilco Electronic Systems.
"The enthusiasm and support we received from so many different Philadelphia communities was inspiring," said Rakia Reynolds, founder of Skai Blue Media, which oversaw the creative portion of Philly's Amazon bid. "These videos are just the first taste of a comprehensive, immersive bid package that will be provided to Amazon."
Of course, there is no shortage of municipalities lining up for the chance to win over Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. It is anticipated that the winning city will provide the online retailer with a slew of tax incentives.
Last week, a City Council committee unanimously approved a bill that would renew 12 Keystone Opportunity Zone designations in University City. Such designations eliminate a litany of state and local taxes for a 10-year period, an incentive for development.
Additionally, a source told PhillyVoice two weeks ago that Amazon has had discussions to purchase the small Millville Executive Airport in Cumberland County, New Jersey.
Camden County also is preparing a bid for Amazon, though it did not win New Jersey's endorsement, according to ROI-NJ.com. That recommendation went to Newark.
But Camden was, however, one of four finalists considered by the state Economic Development Authority.
"We are going to keep moving forward with our application," Camden County Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli Jr. said Monday morning. "As I understand it right now, we are still eligible for the same state incentives as Newark, but we should know better after 1 p.m."
Bensalem Township, located less than 20 miles from Center City in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, also is preparing a bid, as is the state of Delaware.
As Amazon considers its options, the retailer announced it has expanded its Amazon Treasure Truck to Philadelphia, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal.
The truck selects a product – the company's so-called "treasure" – and then sends out a notification on the Amazon App. Customers can place an order and then select a time and location to receive the item from the truck.
PhillyVoice reporter Kevin Shelly contributed to this report.