fb-pixel

Boston won’t get HQ2, but we still have plenty of Amazon workers

The front desk lobby at Amazon's new Fort Point office in Boston.
The front desk lobby at Amazon's new Fort Point office in Boston. Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff

It’s official: Boston has lost Amazon’s Great HQ2 bake-off. The Seattle Internet behemoth said Tuesday that it would divide its “second headquarters” and perhaps up to 50,000 jobs between Crystal City in the Washington suburb of Arlington, Va., and Long Island City in New York. News of the split decision started to leak over the weekend. A consolation prize — an operations hub with 5,000 jobs — went to Nashville.

But one reason Boston didn’t make the final cut — besides the T — may be that Amazon already has a significant presence in and around the city. Here’s a rundown:

Advertisement



■  More than 2,000 workers — many of whom work on the voice-activated Alexa system — at offices at 101 Main St. in Kendall Square, 31 St. James Ave. in the Back Bay (a WeWorks building), and 253 Summer St. in South Boston

■  A robotics plant in North Reading

■  A sprawling distribution center in Fall River/Freetown

■  Smaller distribution centers in Everett and Dedham, and one soon to open in Braintree

■  And planned: a building in the Seaport that could house 2,000 workers, with an option for a second building

Amazon held a JobsDay at its fulfillment center in Fall River in 2017.
Amazon held a JobsDay at its fulfillment center in Fall River in 2017.Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff/File

Though Amazon doesn’t give a precise count, it probably has about 4,000 people here and counting. For comparison, when Boston lured General Electric to Fort Point Channel, the company planned to put about 800 workers there. And given GE’s current woes and new CEO, it’s questionable it will get anywhere close to that.


Larry Edelman can be reached at larry.edelman@globe.com. Sign up for the Talking Points AM newsletter here.