No love lost in quest for Ama­zon HQ2

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - - Classified Obituaries -

to author a win­ning bid.

Ken­ney spokes­woman Lauren Hitt said the city al­ready has a large and tal­ented mil­len­nial pool, the abil­ity to form part­ner­ships within the com­mu­nity, and a rel­a­tively cheap cost of liv­ing com­pared to other cities on­the east­ern seaboard.

“Like the Ama­zon model, we are con­sumer­fo­cused, not com­pe­ti­tion­fo­cused,” she said.

Still, when it comes to clout in Harrisburg, Philadel­phia lags be­hind Pitts­burgh. House speaker Mike Turzai is from the Pitts­burgh sub­urbs. That cham­ber’s top Democrats hail from there too. And the Se­nate’s top Demo­crat, Jay Costa, lives there.

But po­lit­i­cal mus­cle will only take you so far, said Sen. Vince Hughes, D-Philadel­phia.

“If the fun­da­men­tals aren’t there, it doesn’t work,” said Mr. Hughes, the rank­ing Demo­crat on the Se­nate Ap­pro­pri­a­tions Com­mit­tee.

Pitts­burgh, he said, is a fine city. But Philadel­phia, a trans­porta­tion hub be­tween New York and Wash­ing­ton with a clus­ter of high­er­learn­ing in­sti­tu­tions and a tech cor­ri­dor, dwarfs it in the­fac­tors that count.

“Who’s got the bet­ter fun­da­men­tals? It’s not even a con­ver­sa­tion,” he said.

Back in the day, he said, when some­one was look­ing for a place to put a steel mill, they went to Pitts­burgh.

He views the com­pe­ti­tion for Ama­zon the same way — but this time, the scale is tipped in Philadel­phia’s fa­vor.

“If you don’t have the fun­da­men­tals, what are you ar­gu­ing for?” he said.

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