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What if Philadelphia won the Amazon HQ bid?

In the first stage of cities making a pitch to be the site for Amazon’s second headquarters campus, there were 238 applicants.

Every one of these cities knew what kind of impact being chosen would have on local economies. At stake are 50,000 high-paying jobs workers and $5 billion in construction work.

When Amazon pared the 238 applicants to 20 on January 18, Philadelphia was on the list.

The other 19 cities are: Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, Montgomery County (Maryland), Nashville, Newark, New York City, Northern Virginia, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, Toronto, and Washington, D.C.

Philadelphia has gone so far as hiring top consulting firm McKinsey a rumored $1 million per month to bolster its application.

That’s money lost if the city does not win the bid – but money well-spent should it be chosen.

The Wall Street Journal characterizes the city as a lower-tier possibility. But Sperling’s BestPlaces said Philly should be among the top 10. And two observers told Money magazine that the city should be considered the very best choice.

Moody’s senior economist Adam Ozimek described Philadelphia as "a well-rounded, underdog." An analysis by Moody’s rated #3 of 65 possible sites.

Professor Santiago Gallino, of Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, agreed with that assessment.

"My personal guess is Philadelphia," Gallino said. "It has comparable statistics to Seattle in size, income, and transportation. It’s pretty much at the center of gravity of the best schools in the North East. And it’s a city that can be flexible in terms of accommodating a large headquarters."

Being chosen by Amazon will change everything in that market. Jobs, construction, attracting additional businesses, improving the tax base and regional infrastructure all stand to gain.

Should we be chosen, expect to see a whole new Philadelphia.

Sources: Inc Magazine, Philly Magazine

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