A little over a year ago, Greater Trenton seized on an opportunity to pitch Trenton as a potential location for Amazon’s 2nd headquarters. Going head-to-head against 237 cities vying for the title, the organization offered a compelling case for why Amazon should consider the historic and highly-transit oriented city. While the large format proposal fell short of making the stack of finalists, it has become an increasingly valuable economic development and marketing tool for Trenton.
What began as a grand proposal to lure Amazon to the city of Trenton, has now taken on an entirely new life as it helps to create awareness of the city’s development opportunities and puts forth a vision of what the city could be.
With newly published books, redacting all references to Amazon, Greater Trenton’s proposal has been re-purposed as a marketing piece targeted at potential companies, developers and investors. Reaching thousands of people, the books and digital slides have been used for high profile presentations, panel discussions and tours including by the Mayor’s office, the Governor’s Conference on Housing and Economic Development, the New Jersey League of Municipalities, and Princeton University’s ArcPrep initiative.
“Trenton is full of possibilities,” said George Sowa, CEO of Greater Trenton. “A perfect combination of location, operation, and economic benefits makes Trenton a very attractive option. While our original plan was developed for Amazon, the redacted version provides a long-term framework from which to build for any company or companies interested in leveraging all that Trenton has to offer.”
What’s interesting is that seven (35 percent) of Amazon’s shortlisted cities were located along Amtrak’s mainline Northeast Corridor, stretching from Washington, DC to Boston. Carrying over 2,200 daily trains, including Amtrak, commuter and freight trains, the Northeast Corridor is the nation’s most congested rail corridor and is among the highest volume rail corridors in the world. Central to this colossal route lies New Jersey’s Capital City, which speaks volumes about the Trenton’s desirability.
Located within two hours from the nation’s political capital, less than an hour from the the nation’s financial capital, and 26 minutes from the City of Brotherly Love by train, Trenton is well-positioned in the heart of it all with access to the most concentrated, educated and affluent consumer markets in the world.
Think about the winners: Arlington Virginia’s Crystal City and New York’s Long Island City. When the lighting (Amazon’s final selection) finally struck, it landed closer to Trenton than many other competing cities in Amazon’s top 20 list. That’s a good thing… A very good thing.
With great potential as a city, Trenton boasts an impressive riverfront, superb transit access, rich history and a vibrant arts community. Its multi-modal transportation hub links the city to the 6.1 million residents in the Philadelphia MSA and the 20.1 million residents in the New York City MSA. Trenton also connects major highways offering easy access throughout the region and country.
Both Newark International and Philadelphia International airports are less than an hour from Trenton – and Trenton-Mercer airport is just minutes from downtown Trenton, with flights that connect around the world.
Part of Trenton’s local appeal is its access to a consortium of five Mercer County Anchor Institutions of higher education including Mercer County Community College, Princeton University, Thomas Edison State University, Rider University, and The College of New Jersey.
With 1.2 million students in over 200 higher education institutions within 70 miles of Trenton, including three Ivy League Institutions (Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University), Trenton’s rich talent pool abounds. New Jersey also has the highest concentration of scientists and engineers per square mile than anywhere else in the world.
Check out this extensive article by Richard K. Klein on how he believes Trenton “won” the highly publicized Amazon HQ2 competition.