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Listen, Amazon — Boston ain’t big enough for the both of us

As long as I’ve been a graduate student in Philadelphia, I’ve been looking forward to moving back to Boston. But if Amazon comes to Boston, I probably won’t return (“Boston makes the cut on Amazon’s short list,” Page A1, Jan. 19).

Tech giants like Amazon have the power to create massive growth. Between 2010 and 2016, Amazon’s current headquarters city of Seattle saw 12 percent population growth, according to the American Community Survey. In the same period, median rent increased 20 percent.

But Boston simply doesn’t have room for that kind of growth. Neither rents nor population is increasing as fast in Boston as in Seattle. Yet Boston’s population density is already nearly twice that of Seattle, with 13,600 people per square mile. Similarly, Boston’s rents are also already higher than Seattle’s; the median rent is $1,369.


Boston is already more crowded and expensive than Seattle, and the arrival of Amazon and its 50,000 high-earning employees would only increase problems, from traffic to affordability. With this possibility coming closer with the release of the top 20 cities in contention, I urge the City of Boston to reconsider its bid and Amazon to consider whether Boston will really be the fresh start it’s looking for.

Katherine Randall