Now that Seattle can no longer contain Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s giant company (and suddenly giant biceps) the company is looking for a second home, as big or bigger than the one that appears to have eaten the Pacific Northwest.
Cities all over will surely be jockeying for position. But given Amazon’s criteria, Boston looks like a pretty good contender. The company says it’s seeking a metro area with:
■ Over a million people (check!)
■ An urban or suburban location “with the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent” (double check!)
■ “A stable and business-friendly environment” (It has been a wicked long time since our last public official was indicted, so . . . check!)
■ And a community that thinks “big and creatively” (Can we interest you in Widett Circle, prospective location of every developer’s craziest fever dream?)
HQ2, as the company is calling it, will employ an estimated 50,000 people — more than the population of Everett. “Amazon HQ2 will bring billions of dollars in upfront and ongoing investments, and tens of thousands of high-paying jobs,” the company said in a statement released Thursday. And our fine city has a lot to offer:
Build whatever you want!
We are not at all picky about things like, say, building height. You want a giant Amazon tower shaped like one of your Echo devices? Who cares if it blots out the sun — it can tell you the weather! Need a little extra space for one of the dozens of restaurants the new campus will supposedly house? That historic downtown building is probably already a Chipotle anyway — bring on the bulldozers. If Widett Circle doesn’t interest you, we also have many very large open spaces that used to be Sears stores. They’re move-in ready, just tear down the “Se” and the “rs.”
Do you like money? Have some money!
Boston ponied up $25 million in tax breaks for GE’s relocation, and that was only for 800 jobs and what sounds like it will be a very nice building at some increasingly indeterminate point in the future. Scale that to 50,000 jobs and a building the size of Malden and that amounts to . . . uh . . . all the money. Literally all of it, here you can have it all.
Have your way with our roadways!
Your vans are already a plague rivaled only by Uber, but Boston’s streets provide the perfect testing environment for all kinds of new delivery schemes. Running a whole new generation of terrible drivers through our traffic will prepare them for deliveries in virtually any city in the world. Soon you’ll have Amazon Prime, Prime Same Day, Prime Now, and Prime IT’S GREEN YOU IDIOT WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? And if you want to roll out your (probably imaginary) drone delivery service — Prime Air — well, there are so many doofuses piloting their drones around town already that nobody will even notice when your terrifying robotic pterodactyl drops 24 rolls of Bounty and 40 pounds of kitty litter on my deck.
Surround the whole country!
This is just simple geography. Between your home base in Seattle and your would-be second home in Boston, you’ll have this great nation ensnared in a pincers-like formation that does not at all suggest an advancing plot toward world domination. Really, who would even suggest that? You’re just selling robots that live in our houses and listen quietly to everything we say at all times. That’s perfectly normal, not at all creepy.
Harvest our young!
OK, maybe don’t put it like that in your marketing materials. But by virtually any measure, we’re one of the most educated cities in America, with an ample supply of the world’s most talented college students. If you need recent graduates to dream up newer and ever more terrifying ways to insinuate yourselves into our lives, then you’ll find plenty of the delicious brains that you crave right here. By all means, suck them into your vortex, that they may never leave us. Either way, we’ll keep building luxury condos in which to house them.
Put us to work!
Sure, various independent reports have suggested that working in one of Amazon’s mammoth warehouses rates somewhere between existing as a computer-animated Minion come to life and being farmed for your bodily fluids like in “The Matrix.” But HQ2 jobs are the good jobs — not like the ones that hundreds of people flocked to a Fall River job fair for last month. Those warehouse jobs involve things machines can’t do well, like picking up and putting down kayaks and other odd-shaped items; the good jobs surely involve figuring out how to make the machines better at picking up and putting down kayaks, obviating the bad jobs. Then there is the next level of good jobs that involve teaching other machines to teach machines to pick up and put down kayaks. Where do the kayaks come from? No one knows.