Delaware County Submits Proposal for Amazon HQ2


Delaware County Council announced the county's proposal to serve as the site for Amazon HQ2, Amazon's second headquarters in North America, on Oct. 18 on the Chester waterfront. Joined by Delaware County Commerce Director Patrick Killian, Delaware County Chamber of Commerce President Trish McFarland, Chester Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland and federal, state and local leaders, Council highlighted the county's assets including multi-site redevelopment opportunities, transportation infrastructure, incentives, local labor and workforce, and logistics.

Delaware County joined the nationwide competition to become the site for Amazon's HQ2, a second headquarters for the expanding e-commerce company which plans to invest over $5 billion in construction and create 50,000 high-paying jobs.

"Delaware County is strategically located between major cities like New York and Washington D.C. and offers an area which is ripe for development," said Delaware County Councilman Dave White. "We have a diverse and highly skilled labor force, we're a business friendly community and we're on the move. We've created 25,000 new jobs over the past few years and have worked to redevelop property. We believe Delco is a prime location for Amazon and look forward to working with them to create economic and social change."

Delaware County presented two site clusters as potential locations. One is a waterfront development opportunity in Chester, which provides optimal connectivity to the region's transportation assets and offers the chance to revitalize a post-industrial urban community. A secondary site, seven miles away in Middletown Township, offers a suburban campus redevelopment. Combined, the two sites provide approximately 200 acres of land available for commercial office redevelopment. The combined sites meet Amazon's need for up to 8 million square feet of office space.

The Chester Waterfront site is an exciting urban redevelopment opportunity located along the historic Chester waterfront, and extending west to the former Community Hospital site. The Chester site is anchored by Talen Energy Stadium, the home of Major League Soccer's Philadelphia Union. Also on the waterfront is the Wharf, a former power plant converted into 400,000 square feet of office space on the Delaware River. The central core of the site has surface parking lots and practice fields that are available for development. The remaining properties are a mix of parking, former industrial and warehouse properties that are available for development. The majority of the 100 acres of the waterfront portion is controlled by Keystone Sports (Philadelphia Union) and GWSI, owned by Gerace Enterprise. The remainder of the site is owned by local public and private owners who have informed local economic development officials that they would be willing to sell their properties. The sites potentially offer a variety of local tax incentives including LERTA and Keystone Opportunity Zone (KOZ) opportunities to encourage redevelopment.

While Chester is the primary focus, in order to allow for potential build out in the future, two sites in Middletown Township were submitted as secondary sites to accommodate potential needs beyond 2027. Any development on these sites will conform with existing zoning restrictions and approved uses.

Talen Energy Stadium was always meant to be a spark to light development efforts in Chester. With this proposal, it is hoped that Amazon HQ2 will create a synergy to make the Chester Waterfront and Downtown areas the Prime place to live, work and play.

"Chester was once a thriving manufacturing town and we believe Amazon has the ability to create a new beginning for its residents and our entire community," said White. "This could be a transformative project for Chester with monumental economic and social impacts to Chester and all of Delaware County."

The proposal highlights the county's assets, including:

  • A combined 200 acres of multi-site urban/suburban redevelopment opportunities with potential for up to 8 million square feet of office space.

  • Delaware County's reputation as a business friendly community, with limited local taxation on companies and local tax incentives programs for redevelopment.

  • Delaware County's and the Delaware Valley's 6-million-person region with a diverse and skilled work force.

  • A region that is home to over 100 colleges and universities with over 400,000 students and 90,000 graduates.

  • Delaware County is well connected to the regional transportation network, including a short drive to Philadelphia International Airport; Septa Regional Rails and surface transportation; convenient connections for vehicles to I-95, I-476, I-295 and SR 291; cargo and freight rail lines; and, existing shipping ports.

  • Delaware County is home to significant corporate facilities including Boeing and SAP, a thriving startup community and a diverse set of international, national and regional corporate headquarters from a wide-range of industries.

  • The region is strategically located between major cities like New York and Washington D.C., is an hour drive to the Atlantic Ocean and is surrounded by farmlands, mountains and exceptional beauty and is consistently ranked among the best places to work and live.

  • Delaware County has the size and capacity to readily accept and absorb a new corporate headquarters.

  • The region's $430 billion economy employs nearly 2.9 million people and is surrounded by well-developed business infrastructure.

Amazon invited cities, counties and regional economic development organizations in North America to submit a proposal to host Amazon's second headquarters in North America. Criteria included Metropolitan areas with more than one million people, a stable and business-friendly environment, urban or suburban locations with the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent and communities that think big and creatively when considering locations and real estate options.

Amazon estimates its investments in Seattle from 2010 through 2016 resulted in an additional $38 billion to the city's economy every dollar invested by Amazon in Seattle generated an additional $1.40 for the city's economy overall.

"Other counties and cities have proposed locations that fulfill the basic criteria of population and acreage and offer Amazon a location to fit into existing real estate," said White. "Delaware County offers the unique opportunity for Amazon to build upon a blank canvas, recreating and transforming an entire community."




Delco says it's the PRIME location for Amazon HQ2

Delaware County Council announced the county's proposal to serve as the site for Amazon HQ2, Amazon's second headquarters in North America, on Oct. 18 on the Chester waterfront. Joined by Delaware County Commerce Director Patrick Killian, Delaware County Chamber of Commerce President Trish McFarland, Chester Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland and federal, state and local leaders, Council highlighted the county's assets including multi-site redevelopment opportunities, transportation infrastructure, incentives, local labor and workforce, and logistics.