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Philadelphia finally released its proposal to Amazon, but they redacted all the interesting stuff

With Amazon’s HQ2 selection now complete, cities across the country are being made to release the proposals they made to Amazon vying to land the massive development project.

Governor Tom Wolf had helped block requests for these proposals to be made public. The City of Philadelphia chose today to release the documents, albeit with redactions.

In light of the firm’s decision to locate HQ2 elsewhere, the City has determined that releasing information on the City’s proposed financial incentives and certain other information will no longer harm its competitive advantage, and so that information is no longer redacted.

City of Philadelphia

As has been reported previously, the “shovel-ready” sites the City put forth were the Navy Yard and University City. The core argument offered?

In Philadelphia, we found a city in which Amazon does not have to make a choice between frugality and our employees’ quality of life. The HQ2 employee earning the average salary of $100,000 in Philadelphia would need to earn $192,236 in New York, $125,738 in D.C., $124,810 in Boston, and $122,278 in Seattle to enjoy the same standard of living.49 The current median price of a single-family home in the Philadelphia region is $242,000, compared to $472,000 in Seattle, $446,000 in Boston, $423,000 in D.C., and $412,000 in New York.50

Philadelphia Delivers proposal to Amazon

The proposal went so far as to depict cell coverage in the area.

More than a dozen pages are redacted in total, ostensibly detailing the financial package. Other sections about the financial incentives are also redacted.

Weird that 2017 is missing in this chart showing homicides by year

Even Inquirer architecture critic Inga Saffron is quoted:

Your proposal smartly expressed a desire for the trinity of great urbanism: density, walkability, diversity. Of all the metropolises on the Northeast Corridor, none offers a better version of that mix, at a more affordable price, than Philadelphia. Where else can you have all the fruits of density and still live in a single-family home? Any home buyers you bring in from Seattle are going to have reverse sticker shock.

Inga Saffron as quoted in the proposal

The City wanted Amazon to see Philadelphia as a potential “healthcare hub”.

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