It was news heard ’round the country when online retail giant Amazon announced it was planning to build a second North American headquarters outside of Seattle. Cities across the continent, from leading centers of commerce like Toronto and Dallas to smaller hubs in nearly every state, raced to make their pitch. Boston, naturally, entered the fray too, submitting a 218-page proposal to Amazon claiming it is the ideal city to set up shop. And across a slew of criteria, Boston truly does rise to the top. Here’s why.
Reason number one is that there’s a plot of land ready for Amazon, who, after its recent purchase of gourmet grocery store chain Whole Foods, is looking to add more square footage to its vast empire. Suffolk Downs, the former horse racing track, has its own T stop and is just five minutes from Logan Airport. The land is already zoned for a mixed-use development so Amazon’s new employees could live close to work.
Of course, that’s only part of the equation. Amazon is looking for a talented workforce, strong public transportation options, access to global markets, and a city with enough cultural options to keep the estimated 50,000 employees entertained. Hands down, that city should be Boston. We’ve got some of the smartest workers in the country, with universities like MIT and Harvard pumping out thousands of brainiacs each year. We also commute on public transportation or by bike at a higher rate than nearly any other major U.S. city, behind only New York, Jersey City and D.C.. On top of that, Logan Airport connects Boston to the world, with flights to major markets that Amazon’s execs would need to reach. And finally, Boston is one of the cultural centers of America, with world-class museums like the MFA and Gardner, dominant sports teams, top-tier restaurants and more.
“If Amazon wants an East Coast headquarters, I don’t see any city better in America than Boston, Massachusetts,” says Mayor Martin Walsh, expressing his faith in the proposal to the Boston Business Journal. We agree, Marty. We agree. With Amazon looking for a second city, we can’t think of a more suitable city than Boston, one that sits at the crossroads of history and progress, to play host.