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Amazon Includes Philadelphia In Its Top 20 Contenders For HQ2

Philadelphia is still in the running for Amazon HQ2.

Amazon Includes Philadelphia In Its Top 20 Contenders For HQ2
A rendering of Drexel and Brandywine's Schuylkill Yards mega-development

The e-commerce giant released its shortlist of 20 cities it is still considering for its massive second headquarters, with the projected $5B investment, 50,000 employees and millions of square feet of development that comes with it.

The list skews heavily toward East Coast cities, with favorites Boston and Atlanta joining New York; Newark, New Jersey; three sites in the Washington, D.C. area; Raleigh, North Carolina; and Miami. Philadelphia and Pittsburgh both benefited from their location as well as their universities.

“Philadelphia’s inclusion in Amazon’s Top 20 potential locations for HQ2 is an exciting milestone for the city," Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement. "We are thrilled at today’s announcement, and look forward to working with Amazon’s team on the next steps of this process to further highlight all that Philadelphia has to offer.”

A representative for the city told Bisnow that it does not yet know what form the next steps will take, and that the city was informed Thursday morning with the rest of the world.

Amazon will reportedly conduct a round of more in-depth discussions with the remaining cities. Although Philly boasts an impressive list of attributes that match Amazon's checklist on its initial request for proposals, the state of Pennsylvania offered $1B in tax breaks for HQ2, which lags behind other states, like New Jersey's $7B offer for Newark. In the city's pitch announcement, Kenney proposed an additional $2B package that the city council is considering.

The three sites the city put forth as potential Amazon landing spots are Schuylkill Yards, uCity Square and the Philadelphia Navy Yard. The latter two sites are mid-development with time and room enough to change plans to suit Amazon, while Schuylkill Yards recently broke ground. Should Amazon choose a University City space, the city has reportedly offered offices in 30th Street Station as a temporary home while permanent offices are built.

Across the Delaware River, Camden had also submitted a bid for HQ2, but did not make the shortlist.