City officials are disappointed Philly was bypassed for Amazon's expansion

Pat Loeb
November 13, 2018 - 3:11 pm
A Philadelphia city council committee hears testimony, Tuesday afternoon, on a bill that would require employers to give part-time employees more stability in scheduling.

Holli Stephens / KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Amazon has chosen Queens, New York, and northern Virginia to split its new corporate headquarters, bypassing Philadelphia, despite the city's offer of more than $1 billion in tax incentives.

While city officials say they are disappointed, they have no regrets.

Harold Epps, commerce director, saw no need to be modest about the city's bid for the new headquarters.

"Even though they did not choose us, we did a phenomenal job of putting it together. That just strengthened the reputation, the brand, the confidence," he said.

RELATED: Amazon opens new outposts in New York, northern Virginia

Epps said it has already helped the city lure a new company, Elm Partners, and persuaded Key Travel to expand. He also expects the city to benefit from being directly in the middle of the two locations that Amazon did choose.

"If you're not going to be chosen, the best places that benefit Philadelphia were chosen," he reasoned.

For the first time, the city revealed the incentives that were offered through tax increment financing. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said they were pretty standard.

"What we offered them has been offered to 19 or so other projects. A TIF is not all that revolutionary," he said.

The $1 billion value is just about in between the $1.5 billion Amazon is set to collect from Queens and the $500 million offer from northern Virginia.