Talking Points

Amazon’s HQ2 team checks out Boston

In Boston, a team visited Suffolk Downs earlier this week.
In Boston, a team visited Suffolk Downs earlier this week.(David L. Ryan/Globe Staff/File 2017)

Emissaries from Amazon came to town this week, but don’t get too excited.

After all, the Seattle-based tech giant is expected to check out all 20 places on its not-so-short list for its second headquarters.

Amazon teams have toured locations in and around Washington — which emerged as the presumed front-runner after the D.C. metro area landed three spots in the Final 20 (Maryland’s Montgomery County, Northern Virginia, the District itself). Amazon reps also traveled to Texas and dropped into Denver.

In Boston, a team visited Suffolk Downs earlier this week. Mayor Marty Walsh last fall offered up the 161-acre property, which straddles the Boston/Revere line, as his top choice for Amazon’s second home.


HYM Investment Group, led by Tom O’Brien, had just acquired the racetrack and was embarking on redevelopment plans when Amazon announced its HQ2 sweepstakes last year. The timing was fortuitous. But Amazon has confirmed it would also consider Somerville’s bid, which involves properties along the Green and Orange lines.

Then there’s the recent announcement that Amazon plans to pack at least 2,000 people in a new Seaport tower, not far from another big Amazon office that’s about to open in Fort Point. Amazon will occupy most of an 18-story building, with an option to expand to a second one in the same Seaport project. The long-brewing deal stoked talk that other properties in that part of the city could be considered for HQ2.

It’s hard to know if other local sites are in contention. City and state officials aren’t talking. Neither is Amazon.

A massive Amazon campus is already taking shape. If Boston doesn’t get HQ2, the city still ends up with a sweet consolation prize.

Tim Logan of the Globe staff contributed to this story. Jon Chesto can be reached at and on Twitter @jonchesto.