(Photo by Morgan Berman)
Before a jam-packed auditorium at the Barnes Foundation, Mayor Jim Kenney — after a 42-day sprint to put together a comprehensive proposal to send Amazon in its search for an HQ2 site — said nine words that lit up the place:
“I just want to say, we’re going to win.”
It was the hurrah moment of the morning. Kenney thanked the Amazon HQ2 coalition, a bandwagon of 200 local business leaders at the reveal of the city’s proposal. “I have never been more proud of our city and our region,” Kenney said. “Everything we’ve done has really stepped up to the plate.”
The public-facing component of the proposal was built into a website that features interactive maps, a slate of four videos and an 85-page document with letters of support from City Council, Gov. Tom Wolf and local founders. It was built by a collective of local firms: Azavea, Interface Studio, J2 Design, Leveler, Skai Blue Media and The Tactile Group.
Amazon also received a private, password-protected component of the site with details on the incentives offered and specs from the four physical sites being proposed. It was also sent in physical form. Tax-incentive figures were not publicly disclosed at the event, but the Chamber’s president, Rob Wonderling, told Philly.com the whole package exceeded $1 billion.
Borrowing a page from NYC’s playbook, tonight the Cira Centre and FMC Tower at Cira Centre South will have a “coordinated lighting display” in support of the Amazon bid. One Liberty Place and Boathouse Row will also be lit in blue, the city’s color, and the PECO tower will display the hashtag #PhillyDelivers.
“Dear Amazon,” said Mogulette founder Brigitte Daniel as she presented the vids from the proposal. “Say yes to Philly and come make us your home.”
John Fry, president of Drexel University and board chair of the Chamber of Commerce, said the effort to put together a comprehensive pitch for the ecommerce giant was “one of the most profound collaborations I’ve seen in my lifetime in Philly.”
He also wrapped of his speech with both a word of caution and call to arms:
“Regardless of the outcome: let’s keep this momentum going.”-30-
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