Amazon will do Alexa work in Medford as company grows rapidly in Boston area
Amazon is continuing its rapid growth in Greater Boston, this time with a tech office in a new part of the region.
The e-commerce giant has signed a lease for approximately 50,000 square feet at One Cabot Road in Medford, an office building off Rivers Edge Road near the MBTA’s Wellington Station on the Orange Line. The office, which will house about 200 staffers working mainly on Amazon’s Alexa voice-operated systems, is set to open later this spring.
It’s the latest in a string of offices Amazon has opened or planned here, including a large building on which construction recently launched in the Seaport District. But, aside from acquisitions of existing companies, the move will mark its first sizable local office outside of downtown Boston and Cambridge.
Details of the project are scarce. Amazon confirmed the lease and said it plans to shift some employees from space the company rents at a WeWork in the Back Bay. Brokers involved in the deal and the office building’s owner — Boston developer The Davis Cos. — either did not return messages or declined to comment, citing nondisclosure agreements.
Since Amazon opened its first local office in Cambridge’s Kendall Square in 2012, the Boston area has emerged as one of the company’s largest technology hubs outside its home base in Seattle. The region last year made the short list for Amazon’s hotly pursued “second headquarters,” which ultimately went to Crystal City, Va., just outside Washington, D.C., after plans to split it between there and New York City fell through.
Amazon has said it aims to continue growing here, as it seeks to tap into the region’s talented workforce.
“We have created more than 1,800 tech jobs in the Boston area, from speech scientists helping make Alexa smarter every day to robotics engineers building the latest technology for our customer fulfillment network — and we keep hiring,” the company said in a statement. “We are excited to be bringing more jobs to the Boston area.”
Several major development projects — some with big name tenants — are underway along the Orange Line north of downtown Boston. Several large life sciences companies are moving to the Cambridge Crossing megadevelopment, near the Community College station on the Orange Line, while plant science firm Indigo Ag. is considering a major expansion at Charlestown’s Hood Park, near Sullivan Square.
Sneaker maker Puma recently broke ground on a new North American headquarters at Assembly Row in Somerville, and a newly redone 200,000-square-foot creative office building is marketing to tenants in Malden Center.
“It’s a huge growth corridor,” said Aaron Jodka, director of research at real estate firm Colliers International in Boston. “For whatever reason, it took until this real estate cycle, for the most part, for developers and investors and companies to appreciate the value of the Orange Line. But now you’re seeing it.”
Amazon signaled its interest in the area last year, when the company listed Somerville, along with Boston, among the finalists for its second headquarters. Mayor Joe Curtatone of Somerville had pitched a series of sites along the Orange Line, in his city and also in Cambridge, Charlestown, and the Wellington section of Medford.
Amazon’s arrival in Medford is a significant win for a city where home prices have steadily risen in recent years. While the job market has surged in nearby communities, relatively few big-name companies have operations in Medford. City officials said they hadn’t yet talked with Amazon officials but were glad to hear the company was coming to town.
“Having a global company, such as Amazon, recognize the growing and vibrant business community that the City of Medford offers is excellent news,” Mayor Stephanie Burke said in a statement. “We look forward to welcoming Amazon to our community.”