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September 21, 2017

Delaware, Camden each bid for Amazon HQ, though guidelines suggest joint Philly proposal

Amazon Delaware Valley
09142017_PhiladelphiaSkyline_VP Source/VIsitPhiladelphia

The Ben Franklin Bridge connects Philadelphia and Camden.

Camden announced last week that, like Philadelphia and the state of Delaware, it plans to join in the battle for Amazon's new headquarters.

The problem? The entire metro area – Philly, Camden and Delaware – should be applying as one, according to Amazon's suggested guidelines.

According to PlanPhilly, the first page of Amazon’s request for proposals reads, “We encourage states, provinces and metro areas to coordinate with relevant jurisdictions to submit one (1) RFP for your MSA [metro statistical area].”

Philadelphia has already started going to great lengths to get Amazon’s attention, from generating a social media campaign using #PhillyDelivers, to more extreme measures – such as sending a city staffer to Seattle to scope out the scene.

Earlier this month, Delaware Gov. John Carney announced the state's own bid for Amazon, though the proposal seems like a longshot without teaming up with a larger neighboring city like Philadelphia.

Though a little competition can be good, in this case, the Delaware Valley entities could be hurting each other’s chances – and their own – with Amazon.

"We encourage cities to think big and be creative," Amazon said in its call for proposals.

Mayor Jim Kenney told PlanPhilly that he unsuccessfully tried to get the other cities to coordinate with Philadelphia. If Philly makes the first cut of cities, Kenney hopes the areas can come together at that point.

The separate bids won’t be a disqualifier from the process, though it’s possible they could be a deterrent.

Bids are due to Amazon Oct. 19.