Amazon on Chester waterfront? Don't bet on it

Do I think that Amazon, the world's biggest online retailer, is going to set up shop with its much-ballyhooed second world headquarters, on the Chester waterfront.

Probably not.

Do I wish they would? Sure.

One of the things Jeff Bezos has stressed in his push to create what the Amazon folks are calling HQ2 is the ability to improve the quality of life in an area.

If that's the case, Chester should shoot to the top of the list.

We're talking about a multi-billion dollar economic shot in the arm, and the addition of 50,000 new jobs.

Think that would do something about helping the quality of life in Chester?

Something else struck me as a gaggle of city and county officials gathered in the shadow of the Commodore Barry Bridge as Delco made its pitch to lure Amazon.

Haven't we been here before.

The group was standing outside Talen Energy Stadium. That's where the Union plays their Major League Soccer games. It wasn't always called that. When it was first built, it was called PPL Park.

It's a beautiful facility, but it was not supposed to be sitting there alone under the Barry Bridge.

Remember? Originally, the stadium was supposed to be part of a similarly impressive multi-million dollar development. The developers Buccini & Pollin, who had done wonders for the Baltimore waterfront, were promising to do the same in Chester.

They envisioned a mix of residential, retail and entertainment outlets. Upscale townhouses on the waterfront. Even a convention center was tossed into the mix.

They got the county to kick in a big chunk of public money.

The stadium got the OK.

Then the economy went off a cliff back in 2008.

Not much has happened since.

The stadium is still there. Down the road in one direction is Harrrah's casino. In the other direction is the Wharf at Rivertown and the restored old PECO Power Station.

The Union has built a training complex.

Townhouses? Uh, no.

Retail outlets? Not yet.

Convention center? Don't hold your breath.

Officials maintain that the plan is still in place and could still happen.

Yeah, right after Amazon sets up shop.