Amazon is seeking more office space for its existing operations but the move could foreshadow its selection of its next headquarters.
The Boston Globe’s Tim Logan reports:
Amazon is on the hunt for as much as 1 million square feet of office space in Boston, adding a new level of intrigue to the retail giant’s plans as it whittles down the list of the cities competing for its second headquarters.
The Seattle company is negotiating with a Seaport developer to lease an entire office building, and possibly two, to continue its expansion in the city, according to real estate industry executives with knowledge of the talks.
Amazon employs more than 1,000 people in Boston and Cambridge — mostly software engineers and developers — with offices open or under construction in Kendall Square, the Back Bay, and Fort Point. It expects to nearly double that number over the next few years, and could grow even larger here with more space in the Seaport.
Amazon’s Seaport search reportedly began months before the company announced in September that it wants to build a second headquarters — envisioned as a vast campus big enough for 50,000 workers — and before Boston emerged as a top contender for that project. And it is being conducted separately from the headquarters competition, sources say.
Amazon has zeroed in on Seaport Square, a planned complex of office buildings and housing along and near Seaport Boulevard for which Chestnut Hill-based WS Development recently won city permits. Amazon and WS are in talks about 500,000 square feet of office space, with an option to later lease a second building of about equal size.
A decision is expected in the next few months, sources say, meaning it will be made around the same time as Amazon winnows the 238 headquarters proposals it received to a handful of finalists.
It aims to pick a site for its so-called HQ2 by year’s end, and move into a first phase of roughly 500,000 square feet of office space by the end of 2019
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