Rumors Flying, But Still No Decision on Amazon's HQ2

Boston remains on the short list of finalists for the company's planned second headquarters

After months of rumors and speculation, there is still no answer.

Boston is still a finalist to house Amazon's second headquarters, dubbed "HQ2." But when the big announcement could come, and whether Amazon will choose Boston remains anyone's guess.

"None of my sources have heard anything," said Kelly O'Brien, who covers technology for the Boston Business Journal.

NBC10 Boston caught up with Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, who still believes the city is ready if it gets the call.

"It's going to benefit growth in the region," he said Tuesday.

The high-flying tech giant is rapidly expanding into all aspects of life, and says its $5 billion HQ2 project will bring 50,000 high-paying jobs along with it.

"If it comes here, we already have a great tech scene, we already have a vibrant economy," O'Brien said.

Boston's preferred site for Amazon's HQ2 is Suffolk Downs, the former horse racing venue in the East Boston neighborhood near Logan International Airport. But other sites are being considered as well, including one in neighboring Somerville.

David Begelfer represents NAIOP, a major real estate developer trade group, and believes the Greater Boston area still needs to improve its infrastructure, like public transportation and affordable housing.

"Be careful what you wish for," he said. "We're not ready right now."

"We're going to have to really take a look hard at producing a lot more housing in a very short period of time, which we really haven't been able to do that successfully."

Toward that end, Walsh and a coalition of more than a dozen other Boston area mayors announced Tuesday that they are looking to create 185,000 new units of housing across the region by 2030.

But O'Brien said Boston could be fighting an uphill battle.

"The sort of buzz, the sort of feeling among people is that the D.C. area is ahead of Boston in this running right now," he said.

Even if Amazon chooses another city for its HQ2, its presence is already being felt here in Boston.

"They've already got about 3,500 employees in the state of Massachusetts," O'Brien said.

The company announced a major expansion in the Seaport District earlier this year that is expected to create an additional 2,000 jobs. That office is slated to open in 2021.

Amazon has said it has already visited the 20 finalist cities and expects to make a final decision on HQ2 by the end of the year.

Contact Us