archBOSTON.org

Go Back   archBOSTON.org > Boston's Built Environment > Development Projects

Development Projects New urban and/or architectural developments in Boston metro.

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 01-11-2018, 09:37 AM   #1061
shmessy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,240
Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

This morning's news shows Amazon is already relegating Boston to hitting it's single/double (actually more like a very impressive triple):

http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/...c9H/story.html
Amazon is seeking up to 1 million square feet in Boston

I'm thrilled that Boston gets 200+ hits per year and is among the league leaders.

The Amazon HQ2 is for the .247 hitters trying to be Dave Kingman.

If Boston wants to swing for those other fences, then it will have to swing for future infrastructure at a far more ambitious rate than what it is currently planning.

It is this clear and unambiguous point which folks like Rover still fail to comprehend. Rover still brings it all back to some sort of argument about how superlative a city is - - H2Q has NOTHING to do with that criteria. it is all about the canvas, space and location of a city - - along with access to a highly qualified workforce, airport and port shipping.
shmessy is offline  
Old 01-11-2018, 09:52 AM   #1062
Arlington
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: West Medford, MA
Posts: 3,377
Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

odurandina: Any updates
Gameguy326: Please do not spam
bobthebuilder:We have a [Project X] thread for questions like that

I appreciate O's post. It is un-spam to ask this thread to focus on HQ2 (we've drifted back to a rehash of megainfrastructure and Boston's self-image) and HQ2 updates belong here (isn't the Project X thread is for projects in germination that haven't merited their own thread yet?)
__________________
"Trying to solve congestion by making roadways wider is like trying to solve obesity by buying bigger pants."--Charles Marohn
Arlington is offline  
Old 01-11-2018, 10:02 AM   #1063
JumboBuc
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: The Fenway
Posts: 1,750
Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlington View Post
(isn't the Project X thread is for projects in germination that haven't merited their own thread yet?)
It's primarily to be used to ask for updates on projects--including those with threads--where the poster doesn't have anything to add. This way, people don't bump old threads without any info on them.
JumboBuc is offline  
Old 01-11-2018, 10:14 AM   #1064
Justin7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,493
Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

Quote:
Originally Posted by HalcyonEra View Post
Interesting take on being careful for what you wish for. It's pretty whiney but has some good points:


One walk through Seattle's 'Amazonia' neighborhood made me very uneasy for whatever city gets HQ2

http://www.businessinsider.com/amazo...on-hq2-2017-12
Am I crazy or is 90% of that article about the good Amazon is doing for the city.
__________________
"You cannot take in a whole Boston street with a single glance of the eye and then lose your interest because you have thus taken the edge off future discovery; on the contrary, every step reveals some portion of a building which you could not see before, some change in your vista, and some suggestion of pleasant variety yet to come, which not only keeps your interest alive but heightens it and persuades you to go on."
Justin7 is offline  
Old 01-11-2018, 10:40 AM   #1065
fattony
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Davis/Ball Sq.
Posts: 1,670
Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin7 View Post
Am I crazy or is 90% of that article about the good Amazon is doing for the city.
You aren't crazy. I think it is an "eye of the beholder" situation.

For each point in that article you can probably imagine a Seattlite who sees it positively and someone else who would view it negatively. It is good to try to see things from both sides. It helps you to evaluate your own opinion. Sometimes that helps to reaffirm your position and sometimes it helps you to amend or refine it.
fattony is offline  
Old 01-11-2018, 11:00 AM   #1066
DZH22
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,668
Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobthebuilder View Post
We have a thread for questions like that : What's Happening With Project X?
It was a dumb question, but that thread is mainly to prevent old threads from being bumped without news. In this case this is an active thread with many prior posts from the same day.
DZH22 is online now  
Old 01-11-2018, 11:09 AM   #1067
FenwayResident
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 760
Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

Quote:
Originally Posted by shmessy View Post
This morning's news shows Amazon is already relegating Boston to hitting it's single/double (actually more like a very impressive triple):

http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/...c9H/story.html
Amazon is seeking up to 1 million square feet in Boston

I'm thrilled that Boston gets 200+ hits per year and is among the league leaders.

The Amazon HQ2 is for the .247 hitters trying to be Dave Kingman.

If Boston wants to swing for those other fences, then it will have to swing for future infrastructure at a far more ambitious rate than what it is currently planning.

It is this clear and unambiguous point which folks like Rover still fail to comprehend. Rover still brings it all back to some sort of argument about how superlative a city is - - H2Q has NOTHING to do with that criteria. it is all about the canvas, space and location of a city - - along with access to a highly qualified workforce, airport and port shipping.
How does Suffolk Downs not meet all these requirements? Please be specific. I keep asking you to back up your anti-Boston bloviation but you conveniently ignore it.
FenwayResident is offline  
Old 01-11-2018, 11:15 AM   #1068
HalcyonEra
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 351
Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

Not much new here, but I hadn't seen the $177K figure before.

http://www.wcvb.com/article/document...mazon/15060284

Documents offer glimpse of state's push to woo Amazon


WCVB Updated: 10:42 AM EST Jan 11, 2018
SOURCE: AP Photo/Scott Sady
BOSTON

Massachusetts officials moved quickly to seize a potentially lucrative opportunity after Amazon announced its plans to build a second North American headquarters, but declined to choose a favored location and strategized about overcoming obstacles such as the region's high housing costs.

The prize is a $5 billion investment and 50,000 jobs promised by Amazon.

The Associated Press reviewed thousands of pages of emails and documents related to the state's formal Amazon bid obtained through a public records request and spoke to agencies involved in the bid.

QUICK OUT OF THE GATE

The news that broke early on Sept. 7 that Amazon was seeking a second North American headquarters created an immediate buzz at the highest state levels of state government.

Before 8 a.m., Secretary of Housing and Economic Affairs Jay Ash emailed Republican Gov. Charlie Baker's chief of staff and another top cabinet secretary informing them of the announcement and suggesting they meet to discuss. Minutes later, Baker's deputy chief of staff fired off an email to top officials asking "if there was interest in putting together a team similar to GE effort."

That reference was to a successful push by state and Boston officials in 2016 to convince General Electric to move its world headquarters from Connecticut to the city's Seaport District with $145 million in property tax and other incentives.

Along with internal conversations came a flurry of emails from developers, consultants and local officials eager to climb on the bandwagon. One of the first came from Thomas O'Brien, managing director of The HYM Investment Group, the owner of Suffolk Downs. O'Brien wrote Baker and Ash suggesting the former horse track was "perhaps the only Massachusetts site," that could fit all of Amazon's criteria.

NO ONE SITE

Suffolk Downs in East Boston emerged as the preferred site in the city of Boston's proposal to Amazon. But the internal documents reveal how the state settled on its strategy to promote Massachusetts in general, abstaining from picking a favored location and "pitching the whole state," as one official wrote in an email.

To make the pitch, data was collected to showcase Massachusetts' highly educated workforce and technology-driven economy. Officials also weighed the inclusion of other facts ranging from the state's commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, renowned cultural and historical sites, and even the 10 championships won by its pro sports franchises since 2000.

Mayors and town managers were encouraged to submit their own bids if they met the company's stated preferences, which included proximity to a large metropolitan area and international airport.

The state's Amazon proposal would ultimately include 26 potential sites stretching from Boston to the Berkshires.

HOUSING HEADACHES

The shortage of and high cost of housing in Greater Boston was the "Achilles heel" of Massachusetts' efforts to lure Amazon, concluded a report circulated by state officials in late September.

"There is a high probability that adding 50,000 new jobs for one employer over the next 15 years will dramatically exacerbate the situation, making the current housing and transportation challenges even greater," the report warned.

The report appeared to arrive unsolicited under the heading of "How to win the bid for the new Amazon Headquarters." Its authors included Ted Carman, president of a local company that consults with municipalities on housing and zoning policies, and Barry Bluestone, a Northeastern University economist with an expertise in housing.

The authors suggested the state commit enough funding to a recently-created Workforce Housing Trust Fund to create 50,000 new units of housing - or one for each new job that Amazon would bring.

HERE, RUFUS

The state's pursuit of Amazon HQ2 was code-named Project Rufus by state officials.

Rufus was a much-beloved canine who achieved celebrity status of sorts during the early days of Amazon, accompanying his owners - the company's editor-in-chief and principal engineer - to work nearly every day.

Before his death in 1999, Rufus wiled away his days strolling hallways, sitting in on meetings and chasing tennis balls, according to his official biography on Amazon.com.

PUBLIC RESOURCES

The state paid nearly $177,000 to a consultant, Vanesse Hangen Brustlin Inc., to help shape Massachusetts' pitch, according to MassDevelopment, the state's semi-independent economic finance agency.

It's not clear if other state money was spent on the bid.
HalcyonEra is offline  
Old 01-11-2018, 11:44 AM   #1069
tangent
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 1,533
Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

Quote:
Originally Posted by bdurden View Post
LA is not only funding but currently constructing transportation projects that likely are as large and as transformative as the big dig. I believe the regional connector underneath downtown just finished tunneling (it adds 3 new underground metro stations downtown and better connects the existing lines). The Purple line extension to Westwood was just fasttracked (AHEAD of schedule) and both phases of the extension will open together about 2021. That's another 6 new metro stations traversing West LA. Then of course there is the Crenshaw light rail extension to LAX and all the airport improvements they are undertaking to connect the terminals to the metro via a people mover. That opens in 2019. The Gold line out to the eastern burbs is also u/c. The Expo light rail from downtown to Santa Monica opened in 2016.

Maybe those LA projects are better bang for the buck... considering LA was starting with virtually no transit system not so long ago. But dollar for dollar even the Measure M that was quoted as a hundred something billion dollars over 40 years is actually more like an extra $30 Billion in 2015 dollars over 40 years since the plan included existing planned spending plus another $30 something billion in new revenue from Measure M. So basically 1 Big Dig size project worth of additional spending over 40 years for a larger metro than Boston. A meaningful step up in transportation spending (not just rail or mass transit), but not as big as they made it out to be.

We can talk about ROI and cost, but in terms of dollar spending it would be good to add up all of Massachusetts projected state and local spending over the next 40 years and compare with LA local and regional spending and see how that works out. I think the difference in spending wouldn't be very much, but it would be good to see some hard numbers. One downside is that we don't really seem to have that level of planning that far out. Most planning appears to be in the 10 to 15 year range with other project being much more speculative further out.

But like I said, LA gets a boost from being able to add capacity and utility to their transit system more easily than Boston since when we rebuild a station and it costs as much or more than building a new station would so a new station gets a bigger ROI than merely maintaining our existing system with demolished and rebuilt infrastructure.

So I think it is an Old City versus New City problem in comparing spending and the results of that spending not an issue with us spending less. The real trick is being able to quantify the previous hundred years in infrastructure investments and whether we are still getting value from those investments or if we just have to knock everything down and start over at higher cost than if Boston was a blank slate. Hopefully, we can count most of those sunk costs as investment that will continue to give the public benefits.
tangent is offline  
Old 01-11-2018, 11:46 AM   #1070
tysmith95
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: North Shore
Posts: 2,142
Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gameguy326 View Post
Please do not spam.
He's been spamming this forum since Dec 2015.
tysmith95 is offline  
Old 01-11-2018, 12:30 PM   #1071
odurandina
Senior Member
 
odurandina's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 4,009
Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

This morning i was riding the NJT out of Newark Liberty.... pondering North Jersey's chances to get Amazon HQ2.....

At this moment, the ENTIRE NEC out of Pennsylvania Station is cancelled or delayed... due to Portal Bridge, Secaucus (service out)......

That includes Acela/Amtrak Regional/& all NJT branches out of Penn......

What a joke.

Last edited by odurandina; 01-11-2018 at 12:52 PM.
odurandina is offline  
Old 01-11-2018, 12:36 PM   #1072
tysmith95
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: North Shore
Posts: 2,142
Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

Quote:
Originally Posted by odurandina View Post
What a joke.
The same could be said for all US cities with regards to public transit. Maybe Toronto will be the choice.
tysmith95 is offline  
Old 01-11-2018, 01:08 PM   #1073
Cobean
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 107
Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

Quote:
Originally Posted by tysmith95 View Post
The same could be said for all US cities with regards to public transit. Maybe Toronto will be the choice.
It would disqualify them as well. I grew up in Toronto and trust me the TTC is garbage just like the T. Decent by N. American standards, but we all know how low those standards are.

Montreal has the best Metro system in Canada, IMHO.
Cobean is offline  
Old 01-11-2018, 01:25 PM   #1074
DZH22
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,668
Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobean View Post
Montreal has the best Metro system in Canada, IMHO.
I got robbed on the Montreal metro. If Jeff Bezos reads this post it should be enough to convince him that Montreal is not the right city for HQ2.

I kind of think Boston might be better off as Amazon's third city instead. Rather than hosting HQ2, it could just be content to have, say, a few million square foot presence. When you look at how unaffordable Seattle is becoming, imagine this same thing happening in Boston. Boston would become the next San Francisco! (ie the most unaffordable city in the country) Our political climate would never allow enough housing to be built to overcome not only the current crisis, but a future one with Amazon.
DZH22 is online now  
Old 01-11-2018, 01:36 PM   #1075
shmessy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,240
Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

Quote:
Originally Posted by FenwayResident View Post
How does Suffolk Downs not meet all these requirements? Please be specific. I keep asking you to back up your anti-Boston bloviation but you conveniently ignore it.
I'll answer your question below, but first how about you answer for your own post?:

How the hell is anything I wrote in that post "anti-Boston bloviation"? Anyone with even a modicum of comprehension skills would see what I wrote there as nothing less than a Valentine to the current state of the city.

Now onto your question: I don't see Suffolk Downs as doable without a much larger infrastructure committment to things like B-R Connector and a massively changed Route 1 than the city/commonwealth is currently showing a stomach for, etc to deal with the vehicular traffic that will come with it in conjunction with the Wynn Casino, etc.

In the fewest words possible - - lack of space (not just for the campus but for the 150,000 human beings attached to those 50,000 jobs that are planned) and lack of future infrastructure committment is what sinks Boston.

Also, because of its success to date, Boston is a much higher cost of living/construction/space than many other easier-to-build-8 million sq feet plus 150,000 humanoid housing for one company type of places - - the poor Dave Kingmans like Baltimore, Atlanta, etc. will give Bezos the ransom, the space and the blank canvas.
shmessy is offline  
Old 01-11-2018, 01:39 PM   #1076
shmessy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,240
Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

Quote:
Originally Posted by DZH22 View Post
I got robbed on the Montreal metro. If Jeff Bezos reads this post it should be enough to convince him that Montreal is not the right city for HQ2.

I kind of think Boston might be better off as Amazon's third city instead. Rather than hosting HQ2, it could just be content to have, say, a few million square foot presence. When you look at how unaffordable Seattle is becoming, imagine this same thing happening in Boston. Boston would become the next San Francisco! (ie the most unaffordable city in the country) Our political climate would never allow enough housing to be built to overcome not only the current crisis, but a future one with Amazon.
Exactly. But look out for Fenway Resident's reaction to your "anti-Boston bloviation" post.........
shmessy is offline  
Old 01-11-2018, 03:09 PM   #1077
FenwayResident
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 760
Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

Quote:
Originally Posted by shmessy View Post
Exactly. But look out for Fenway Resident's reaction to your "anti-Boston bloviation" post.........
Err... I have nothing against people who think Amazon will pick another city as long as it's a well-reasoned post with some amount of reality backing it. I think the cost of living argument is the strongest against Boston and one I happen to agree with.

I specifically called your prior posts bloviation because they were long-winded rants about how Amazon would never pick Boston, despite the fact that Suffolk Downs objectively meets their given criteria. Your posts focused on made up requirements and non-sequiturs like being a "future thinking" city or whatever you called it. If Amazon thought future infrastructure was such a big deal, surely they would have included it in their RFP, no?
FenwayResident is offline  
Old 01-11-2018, 03:27 PM   #1078
stellarfun
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: salem ma and washington dc
Posts: 4,418
Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

Amazon's full buildout is two+ decades away, if it ever occurs.

Amazon first three phases are perhaps 4.5 million sq ft., --and could be as little as 3.5 million square feet. Phases I-III span 15-17 years. This is according to Amazon's spec sheet.

After Phase III is done, Amazon will decide whether it wants more space in its chosen city, which would be Phase IV, but makers no commitment to Phase IV.

Assuming 15 years and 27,500 new employees (4.5 million square feet) that corresponds to the labor market having to absorb less than 2,000 Amazon employees a year on average. And Amazon's employment multiplier for Seattle is 1.2, not 3.

IMO, this relatively slow pace of growth probably reflects Amazon's belief that it will take many years for colleges and universities to turn out graduates with the skill sets that Amazon will be seeking for HQ2.
__________________
A man gazing on the stars is at the mercy of the puddles in the road
stellarfun is offline  
Old 01-11-2018, 03:52 PM   #1079
fattony
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Davis/Ball Sq.
Posts: 1,670
Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

Quote:
Originally Posted by stellarfun View Post
And Amazon's employment multiplier for Seattle is 1.2, not 3.
There is the employment multiplier, yes, but let's not forget spouses and children.

In a hypothetical future where HQ2 is here, I wonder how many employees would have been in Boston anyway, just working at a different firm? How many would relocate here purely for Amazon? How many other non-Amazon tech jobs will be created here because of HQ2? How many retail, service industry, legal, real estate, public service, etc (the traditional definition of jobs multiplier) jobs will be created?

Among spouses, again I wonder how many Amazonians will meet their spouse/significant other here vs. how many will bring spouses with them. Some spouses will also be Amazonians themselves.

All those questions need to be estimated to paint a real picture of how different the population will be with or without HQ2. It is an interesting problem.
fattony is offline  
Old 01-11-2018, 04:15 PM   #1080
ant8904
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 548
Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

Quote:
Originally Posted by FenwayResident View Post
Err... I have nothing against people who think Amazon will pick another city as long as it's a well-reasoned post with some amount of reality backing it. I think the cost of living argument is the strongest against Boston and one I happen to agree with.

I specifically called your prior posts bloviation because they were long-winded rants about how Amazon would never pick Boston, despite the fact that Suffolk Downs objectively meets their given criteria. Your posts focused on made up requirements and non-sequiturs like being a "future thinking" city or whatever you called it. If Amazon thought future infrastructure was such a big deal, surely they would have included it in their RFP, no?
That's what I have been trying to say (see post #1026, about 2 pages back). And no one paid any attention to it. It is not about being positive or negative about Boston. It is not about if our politics and political will for big projects is dysfunctional or not - though make it being true makes confusing to discuss because it looks like the discussion is about denying our issues rather than what is actually trying to be raised.

It is about citing issues that is not listed in the RFP like it's a confirmed fact. Like post #1061, the one at the top of this page, somehow citing how Boston is getting a million sq foot for Amazon is evidence of Boston "getting another single/double" (which I have to say, somehow the baseball analogy is grazing me the wrong way too somehow, but I don't know why). Then arguing again we need more infrastructure - but it is not one of things Amazon cited.

Basically before one can start using Boston's infrastructure construction reluctance as evidence for Amazon, one needs to establish it is actually one of the things Amazon actually cares.
ant8904 is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Amazon wants office space downtown. stellarfun Boston Architecture & Urbanism 25 07-01-2017 09:19 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:02 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.