Snubbed for Amazon HQ2, Camden sends pitch to Apple - Technical.ly Philly

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Feb. 20, 2018 8:33 am

Snubbed for Amazon HQ2, Camden sends pitch to Apple

A month into his first term as Camden mayor, Frank Moran said pitching Amazon and Apple on the city's potential was “the new norm.”

Camden, as seen from the Philly waterfront.

(Photo by Olivier Le Queinec via Shutterstock)

When Camden, N.J. was snubbed from the shortlist of cities in the running for Amazon’s sprawling second headquarters, it didn’t let its work go to waste.

Camden Mayor Frank Moran, who took the oath of office in January, penned a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook – in response to the exec’s announcement that the company would set up a second headquarters – asking him to consider the New Jersey town.

“When we heard they were contemplating a new campus, we wanted to get ahead of the game,” Moran told the Cherry Hill Courier-Post last Tuesday. “We wanted to be the first out of the box.”

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The proposal, aside from hyping up Camden’s strategic location and real estate availability, reportedly offered details on the tax incentives available through the Grow NJ program and the Economic Opportunity Act.

Barely a month into his tenure as new Camden mayor, Moran said pitching Amazon and Apple on the city’s potential was “the new norm.”

“The Apple proposal will have the benefit that the local economic development apparatus already went through this with Amazon,” said corporate site selection consultant John Boyd. “Given the region’s skill sets in IT  and customer services, coupled with the real estate offerings in Camden, the reach might make sense.

Philly, the consultant said, would likely benefit if Camden were chosen for Apple’s relatively smaller project.

However, these projects don’t develop in a vacuum. U.S. Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) hit the nail on the head when he foresaw that Wilmington’s chances were slim for the Amazon bid as a standalone city. Same goes for Camden and Philly: both would have a better shot at success by framing thoughts around the region rather than individual cities.

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For now, in Philly, the focus is on sustaining the momentum roused by the Amazon pitch.

“The fact that we’re considered for the second run means we have what it takes to offer a company like Amazon a holistic destination,” Mogulette founder Brigitte Daniel told Technical.ly when the shortlist was published. “We should come together again as city and put forth the best of these examples.”

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