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Old 09-07-2017, 10:03 AM   #1
Cobean
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Amazon HQ2 RFP

Not sure if this is the correct place to post this, but Amazon is looking to open a second HQ that would be equal to its Seattle campus. Proposals are due in October, decision in 2018.

I would expect that Boston would be in the mix for this.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/browse.html/?node=17044620011

http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/...yNO/story.html
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Old 09-07-2017, 10:03 AM   #2
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Re: The New Office Thread

Amazon is looking to build a second HQ equal to their one in Seattle. For reference, their Seattle HQ employs 50,000 people in an 8.1 million sqft campus. They haven't picked a city yet - there isn't even a short list as far as I can tell.

Even though Boston isn't explicitly mentioned, Amazon is already planning to move 900 people here. My main question is where would they find the space to employ 50,000 people if they were to pick Boston? They would either have to build a couple towers in Kendall/Downtown or find a huge undeveloped (or under-developed) piece of land. The only central locations I can think of are the new Allston Yards, East Cambridge, and E Street (east of the convention center).

Because of that I find it unlikely they would pick Boston, but it's fun to think about.
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Old 09-07-2017, 10:05 AM   #3
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Re: The New Office Thread

^ what about the supposed "campus" proposed for the old Flower Exchange parcel in the south end?
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Old 09-07-2017, 10:07 AM   #4
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Re: The New Office Thread

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Originally Posted by FenwayResident View Post
Amazon is looking to build a second HQ equal to their one in Seattle. For reference, their Seattle HQ employs 50,000 people in an 8.1 million sqft campus. They haven't picked a city yet - there isn't even a short list as far as I can tell.

Even though Boston isn't explicitly mentioned, Amazon is already planning to move 900 people here. My main question is where would they find the space to employ 50,000 people if they were to pick Boston? They would either have to build a couple towers in Kendall/Downtown or find a huge undeveloped (or under-developed) piece of land. The only central locations I can think of are the new Allston Yards, East Cambridge, and E Street (east of the convention center).

Because of that I find it unlikely they would pick Boston, but it's fun to think about.
Government Center Garage maybe?
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Old 09-07-2017, 10:20 AM   #5
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Re: The New Office Thread

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Government Center Garage maybe?
To give some perspective on the scale of this HQ development, the Twin Towers had ~4 million square feet and employed 50,000 people. So one or two Boston-sized towers would not be nearly enough space.

Last edited by FenwayResident; 09-07-2017 at 10:48 AM.
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Old 09-07-2017, 10:34 AM   #6
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Re: The New Office Thread

The Volpe site sounds like the perfect spot for them. Maybe even get that 1000ft tower if they can secure Amazon as the tenant.
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Old 09-07-2017, 10:39 AM   #7
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Re: The New Office Thread

Amazon has 8.1 million square feet in Seattle, and was proposed to grow to 12 million square feet in 4-5 years. It may be that the second HQ will cap Amazon's current space to what it is now.

Seattle employment apparently around 40,000, and press articles indicate employment increases could fit within existing space.
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Last edited by stellarfun; 09-07-2017 at 10:55 AM.
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Old 09-07-2017, 10:42 AM   #8
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Re: The New Office Thread

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The Volpe site sounds like the perfect spot for them. Maybe even get that 1000ft tower if they can secure Amazon as the tenant.
That brings another fun thought:

The current daily ridership of the Red Line is 280,000. How could it possibly handle another ~50,000?
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Old 09-07-2017, 10:46 AM   #9
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Re: The New Office Thread

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Government Center Garage maybe?
They'd probably be entirely separate from any current development. They're currently looking to invest $5 billion in to the new campus. The scale of such a project (up to 8,000,000 sq. ft.) would be a first for Boston in a very long time.

Last edited by stefalarchitect; 09-07-2017 at 11:09 AM.
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Old 09-07-2017, 10:53 AM   #10
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Re: The New Office Thread

I think Boston is too high cost of a market for them. But I hope I'm wrong. Per CNBC discussion this morning, the consensus (albeit best guesses by morning anchors) seemed to be a Texas city (Austin or Dallas) or Toronto.
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Old 09-07-2017, 10:54 AM   #11
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Re: The New Office Thread

Amazon's Seattle Campus has 33 buildings. When Amazon says "campus" they mean it in the large university sense, not the typical urban corporate sense. Think Northeastern or MIT, not Novartis or Vertex.

I have a hard time imagining a space big enough and pro-development enough for them anywhere in urban Boston.

For the sake of our nation and its economic sustainability, I hope this ends up outside of the usual suspects of booming coastal cities (i.e., not SF, LA, Boston, NYC, DC, etc..). If it could go somewhere cheaper and a little more down-on-its-luck it'd be a win for the greater good (Columbus? Cleveland? Detroit? Rochester? Memphis? etc.). 50k high-paid workers would do wonders for those cities; they'd overwhelm Boston.

If I had to guess I'd say Austin.
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Old 09-07-2017, 10:58 AM   #12
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Re: The New Office Thread

The RFP provides further details.
https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon....516043504_.pdf

One million population center minimum

Mass transit station on site

Within 45 minutes of international airport.
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If I am reading "stable" environment to mean 'stable political environment', then given JB's presumed political leanings (read the editorial page of the paper he owns, the Washington Post, that would work against states with reactionary state governments, e.g., Kansas, North Carolina?, Texas. Reactionary being states enacting laws that are more exclusive, than inclusive.
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Last edited by stellarfun; 09-07-2017 at 11:12 AM.
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Old 09-07-2017, 11:06 AM   #13
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Re: The New Office Thread

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Amazon's Seattle Campus has 33 buildings. When Amazon says "campus" they mean it in the large university sense, not the typical urban corporate sense. Think Northeastern or MIT, not Novartis or Vertex.

I have a hard time imagining a space big enough and pro-development enough for them anywhere in urban Boston.

For the sake of our nation and its economic sustainability, I hope this ends up outside of the usual suspects of booming coastal cities (i.e., not SF, LA, Boston, NYC, DC, etc..). If it could go somewhere cheaper and a little more down-on-its-luck it'd be a win for the greater good (Columbus? Cleveland? Detroit? Rochester? Memphis? etc.). 50k high-paid workers would do wonders for those cities; they'd overwhelm Boston.

If I had to guess I'd say Austin.
Yeah, putting an additional 50,000 tech jobs in Boston would send the rental and housing markets to near-SF levels. Not the mention the havoc it would wreak on our public transportation system.

The New York Times has more detail on Amazon's requirements:

"The company, which is based in Seattle, listed a series of requirements for the new location, including a metropolitan area that has a population greater than one million, a stable and business-friendly environment, and a location that was able to attract and retain workers. The company is calling the development HQ2."

IMO that limits it to a couple of cities. My best guesses would be Austin, Denver, Houston, Charlotte, NYC and Boston (long shot).
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Old 09-07-2017, 11:08 AM   #14
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Re: The New Office Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by stellarfun View Post
The RFP provides further details.
https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon....516043504_.pdf

One million population center minimum

Mass transit station on site

Within 45 minutes of international airport.
South Station and Ft. Point comprehensive area: basically this could line the Ft. Point channel on either side. One part could be the entire stretch slated for redevelopment at the U.S. postal facility. Part could be in the SS Tower and adjacent SS mini-towers. And part could be across the channel in the vast parking lots adjacent to the GE site. Heck, if they need more, that viola steam plant nearby provides it. SS can be the mass transit hub, and this would provide impetus to give NS rail link a kick in the ass.
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Old 09-07-2017, 11:15 AM   #15
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Re: The New Office Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by stellarfun View Post
The RFP provides further details.
https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon....516043504_.pdf

One million population center minimum

Mass transit station on site

Within 45 minutes of international airport.
.
That RFP is interesting. Notes 230,000 annual hotel visits as a result of Amazon visits/guests, $43 million invested into tranist, and 53,000 indirect jobs created from Seattle HQ.
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Old 09-07-2017, 11:23 AM   #16
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Re: The New Office Thread

Since we're guessing sites, I'll guess Los Angeles, NY Metro, Washington DC, Chicago, San Diego, Boston, Baltimore, Philadelphia. Under Armour owner has started a $5 billion development in Baltimore.
http://data.baltimoresun.com/news/port-covington/

JB and Kevin Plank have houses (kalorama and Georgetown) in Washington perhaps three miles apart at most.

I'd rule out Austin and Houston because of Texas state politics Rule out Houston because of Harvey. Probably rule out Miami because of Irma. Atlanta and Charlotte may not have the tech base. North Carolina state politics a minus.
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Old 09-07-2017, 11:27 AM   #17
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Re: The New Office Thread

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Since we're guessing sites, I'll guess Los Angeles, NY Metro, Washington DC, Chicago, San Diego, Boston, Baltimore, Philadelphia. Under Armour owner has started a $5 billion development in Baltimore.
http://data.baltimoresun.com/news/port-covington/

JB and Kevin Plank have houses (kalorama and Georgetown) in Washington perhaps three miles apart at most.

I'd rule out Austin and Houston because of Texas state politics Rule out Houston because of Harvey. Probably rule out Miami because of Irma. Atlanta and Charlotte may not have the tech base. North Carolina state politics a minus.
I'm honestly hoping for a city with HRT that needs the help - Baltimore, Cleveland, Pittsburgh (which will have trouble putting enough land together). Philly and DC will definitely try for it, and DC has a lot of open space near outlying Metro Stations in MD and VA. Maybe up the Silver Line past Dulles.

In Boston, I'd look at Sullivan Square. Lots of space. Lots of bus routes. Highway access. Needs a ton of work. Not on the Red Line, so overloading that line isn't an issue. Note that this is highly phased - only 500,000SF for the first 10 years - so I don't think a location like NorthPoint would work by sitting empty for a decade. If I were Boston, that's where I'd suggest.

They aren't clear on whether a city needs to actually own the land now, or whether it can be assembled over time.
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Old 09-07-2017, 11:30 AM   #18
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Re: The New Office Thread

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Since we're guessing sites, I'll guess Los Angeles, NY Metro, Washington DC, Chicago, San Diego, Boston, Baltimore, Philadelphia.
I would guess that Amazon does not want another HQ on the west coast. Kind of seems silly to me.
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Old 09-07-2017, 12:06 PM   #19
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Re: The New Office Thread

How bout the 161 acres at Suffolk Downs as a possible Amazon site?
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Old 09-07-2017, 12:21 PM   #20
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Re: The New Office Thread

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Yeah, putting an additional 50,000 tech jobs in Boston would send the rental and housing markets to near-SF levels. Not the mention the havoc it would wreak on our public transportation system.

The New York Times has more detail on Amazon's requirements:

"The company, which is based in Seattle, listed a series of requirements for the new location, including a metropolitan area that has a population greater than one million, a stable and business-friendly environment, and a location that was able to attract and retain workers. The company is calling the development HQ2."

IMO that limits it to a couple of cities. My best guesses would be Austin, Denver, Houston, Charlotte, NYC and Boston (long shot).
Isn't the population of Austin under 1 million? Albeit not by much.
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