Delaware pitches three locations for Amazon HQ2

Three locations in New Castle County are being recommended to Amazon for its second headquarters, multiple elected officials announced Thursday.

First State Crossing – Claymont

  • 425 acres at the former Evraz Steel Mill with utilities in place
  • Future home Claymont Train Station
  • 1/3 of a mile to I-95 and I-495
  • 20 miles to Philadelphia City Hall, 13 miles to PHL Airport

Riverfront – Wilmington

  • A combination of properties on South Market Street along the Christina River
  • 82+ acres on the beautiful Wilmington Riverfront with utilities in place
  • 1/4 of a mile to I-95 and I-495
  • 1/3 of a mile to Wilmington Train Station
  • 27 miles to Center-City Philadelphia

1800 Concord Pike – Fairfax

  • 82 acres with utilities in place that is already home to AstraZeneca and a large JP Morgan Chase facility
  • 1 mile to I-95
  • 500,000 sq. ft. of existing office space available
  • 26 miles to Center-City Philadelphia

Cerron Cade, director of the state Division of Small Business, Development, and Tourism, said Amazon asked to to be within 30 miles of a city with a million people; close to an international airport with service to Seattle, San Francisco, New York and Washington; close to highways; and near mass transit. “Delaware checks off all these boxes,” he said.

The announcement included the launch of http://optionsinde.com, a site that promotes Delaware to all business. “This is much bigger than solely Amazon,” Cade said. “This is a pitch to all companies that want to grow.”

In making the pitch, Gov. John Carney highlighted the state’s low taxes and central location. New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer emphasized a “productive and skilled workforce, high quality of life, reasonable cost of living.”

The presentation also touted connectivity: an average internet speed of 25.2 mbps and 200 miles of dark fiber. Financial advantages, according to the presentation, include no sales tax, low property taxes, no inventory tax and a low cost of living.

The proposal is a long shot for a huge prize: $5 billion in investments, a workforce of 50,000 well-paid workers, and the likelihood that growth will follow in other sectors.

Different analyses of Amazon’s RFP have yielded different conclusions. For example, Moody’s, opted for Austin, Texas; the Anderson Consulting Group for New York; and The New York Times for Denver.

The Philadelphia metropolitan area, which includes New Castle County, was considered a contender by Moody’s and CBS. “The reality is there is probably no North American metro area that has everything Amazon’s looking for — especially a ready-to-go workforce of 50,000 professionals,” NPR wrote.

Seattle’s selection in the 1990s was far simpler for Amazon. The major factors then were large numbers of tech-savvy workers, the proximity of book wholesalers and Washington’s relatively low population, which at the time let Amazon not charge sales taxes to most of America.

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