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Wilmington did not make the short-list of cities that Amazon is considering for its second headquarters.

The online retail giant has narrowed its list of cities under consideration to 20, with the largest concentration in the Northeast, including Philadelphia.  

"I don't think the odds were very high that Delaware would be on that list or Wilmington, but it is important that Philadelphia's there--that's within our region--and I think we can and we will partner with them," said Rich Heffron, President of the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce.

"To have lost it, you had to have had it to begin with," said Dr. Charles Elson, Director of the Center for Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware.  "I think it would've been great if it did happen here, but I think there were a lot of reasons it wasn't going to."     

Amazon, based in Seattle, plans to invest $5 billion in the new headquarters and could employ as many as 50,000 people in and around the city it chooses.

Cities are in fierce competition to lure Amazon, which has revolutionized the way people shop.

The list released on Thursday includes the cities of:

  • Atlanta
  • Austin, Texas
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Dallas
  • Denver
  • Indianapolis
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • New York City
  • Philadelphia
  • Toronto
  • Washington
  • Pittsburgh
  • Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Nashville, Tennessee
  • Newark, New Jersey
  • Columbus, Ohio

Amazon also listed northern Virginia and Montgomery County in Maryland as potential sites.

Delaware had proposed three sites for Amazon, including Claymont, the Wilmington Riverfront, and Fairfax, which all met requirements that included being located 30 miles from a population center of at least 1 million people, proximity to an international airport, easy access to mass transit and major highways, and a minimum of 500,000 sq. ft. 

Elson said taxation is one downside to Delaware's case.  

"Newark, New Jersey,'s taxes are higher than ours, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania's are lower," he said. "When a group of execs makes decisions, they do look at their personal wealth..."You look at schools, you look at tax rates, and I think that we need to do a better job in those areas to be attractive."  

In a joint statement, Gov. John Carney, Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki, and the state's Congressional delegation said they're disappointed Delaware wasn't a finalist in the competition, but that wasn't the only objective of the process. 

"We used this opportunity to showcase all the options in Delaware not just for Amazon, but for any business looking for a location to set down roots and grow," they said.  "In that respect, Delaware's effort - which brought together leaders in the public and private sectors to promote our great state - was a resounding success. Going forward, we'll do everything we can to support Philadelphia's application, to help bring Amazon to our region."

"It forces you to look at who you are and what you would like to be and how other people may look at you, and I think that's important, going forward, as we put together the public-private partnership and try to attract other businesses here, and have businesses in Delaware expand," Heffron told WDEL.  

"Obviously, it's a small disappointment - we had a small chance, we gave it our best shot," New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer said. At the same time, he is excited that Philadelphia is still in the running.

"A win for Philadelphia is a huge win for New Castle County in Delaware and we plan to communicate that to Amazon," Meyer added. "We're excited on collaborating with with Mayor Kenney in Philadelphia to do everything we can to make sure Amazon comes to the region."


Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.