Amazon’s search for its second headquarters may be narrowing to a select few. According to Bloomberg, senior executives at Amazon are urging the company to seriously consider Massachusetts’ capital Boston as the second home for the online retail giant.
Bloomberg also observed that a new breakthrough at MIT related to voice technology could draw in Amazon in order to boost its digital voice assistant Alexa, coupled by the fact that Amazon owns Boston-based Kiva Systems which it bought in 2012 for $775 million. In a GeekWire analysis that ranked potential cities on data, Boston was the highest-scoring U.S. city.
When Amazon announced the search for its “HQ2” last week, many cities across North America expressed interest and promised to prepare unrivalled bids to attract the $5 billion investment and estimated 50,000 jobs. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, speaking to the Boston Business Journal said that his city is the best for Amazon if the retail giant is interested in an East Coast location. However, he told the Boston Globe that his city was not ready for a bidding war with other cities over Amazon’s HQ2. The Globe in its analysis noted that Boston may be disadvantaged by its expensive housing and labor shortage.
Boston meets most of the requirements that Amazon set out in its Request for Proposals (RFP) as well as six other cities as noted by GeekWire. The conditions include, a Metropolitan area with more than one million people, a stable and business-friendly environment, urban or suburban locations with the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent and communities that think big and creatively when considering locations and real estate options.
There are multiple cities across North America that would be likely candidates for hosting the second headquarters for Amazon but some may be too expensive or too close to Seattle. Several of them come close to the minimum requirements that Amazon is looking for. They include: Toronto, Austin, Pittsburgh, Chicago and Atlanta.
Boston ranks highly as a tech hub producing top talent in various fields such as cloud computing, computer vision, robotics and artificial intelligence.
Beantown has had its share of loss with Facebook relocating to Silicon Valley shortly after it was founded there and having to contend that no major tech company calls it home.
Amazon however, refuted Bloomberg’s story in a tweet, saying that there are no front-runners at this point and that every city is on equal playing field.