Winning Amazon's HQ2 Would Likely Complete Seattle-ization of Boston

Monday, May 7, 2018

If Amazon did in Boston what it did in Denver as part of its ongoing quest for a second headquarters city (HQ2), I hope someone has written an inside account of the proceedings and will release it soon to the public.

The New York Times reported that a 10-person Amazon team met in January with Denver officials to discuss their city’s HQ2 bid, [“One Goal of Amazon’s HQ2: Learn the Lessons of Seattle,” 4-29-18].
During that get-together, Amazon reps asked questions focusing on how local officials could help them avoid recreating in Denver problems exacerbated in Seattle by HQ1, like traffic congestion and high housing costs.

“I think they feel in Seattle they’re the scapegoat every time there’s an issue in the community and traffic,” Sam Bailey told The New York Times.  Bailey is vice president of economic development for the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation.
Denver, like Boston, is among the 20 finalist cities in the HQ2 competition; Suffolk Downs, the old racetrack on the East Boston-Revere line, is the leading metro Boston site for HQ2.  Wherever HQ2 lands, it has been estimated that up 50,000 new Amazon jobs will follow.

In Massachusetts, officials seem unanimous in declining to discuss the state of their talks with Amazon.
Numerous New York Times readers posted comments at the end of the online version of “One Goal of Amazon’s HQ2…”  My favorite was by “Josa of New York, NY,” excerpts of which follow:

“As much as I’m a fan of Amazon, they are one of the reasons I left Seattle and have no plans to return.  Amazon has, unfortunately, been a huge part of what has made Seattle increasingly unlivable (unless you make well into the six figures, that is).  And because so many people who work in Seattle now can’t afford to live in or near Seattle, every day there are twenty-mile backups in both directions leading into and out of the city…
“With the huge influx of high-paying jobs, you have boutique markets and yoga studios and pet studios popping up all over the city.  And because landlords only want to rent to wealthy people, it’s become harder and harder for the middle-class people to keep what trembling foothold they have on a middle-class lifestyle in the Seattle area. If you’re poor, there’s no way.”

Here’s the link to the 4-29-18 article:


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