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Camden approves Amazon HQ2 proposal

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Amazon’s second headquarters is seemingly the prize everyone wants to win, but Camden said it believes it has a genuine shot at attracting the multibillion dollar e-commerce company.

This week Camden’s freeholder board voted unanimously to work with the state’s Economic Development Agency to create a proposal for Camden to be the location of Amazon’s second headquarters.

In many ways, Camden fits the bill for Amazon’s requirements for its headquarters site, but the city’s reputation may work against its viability.

The freeholder board boasted that Camden is located just outside Philadelphia, a metropolitan area with over 1 million residents as well as home to an international airport. New Jersey’s network of renowned higher education institutions would contribute to the appeal of basing in the state. Additionally, the EDA’s willingness to work with companies to attract them to New Jersey would contribute to the company’s desire for incentives to setting up shop in the state.

But other intangibles, such as “cultural fit” or “quality of life” may get in the way. Camden’s national reputation is a crime-ridden city, but locals dispute that stigma and say the reputation is outdated.

Economically, Camden has been on an upswing in recent years with over $2 billion in private investments poured into the city. If Amazon did choose to base in Camden, it would solidify the “Camden Rising” sentiment spreading across the city.

Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli said the proposal was a serious one.

“Make no mistake, this is not an exercise, this is a process that we and our partners are passionately committed (to),” Cappelli said in a prepared statement. 

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Arthur Augustyn

Arthur Augustyn

Arthur Augustyn grew up in Massachusetts and previously covered the video game industry in Los Angeles, city politics in Malibu, California, and local news in Bergen County before working at NJBIZ. He currently covers cannabis, government and tech.

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