Boston aims to lure Amazon


In the hopes of enticing Amazon.com Inc. to plant its new headquarters in the Bay State, officials and developers are honing their pitches as sites such as Suffolk Downs and the former Boston Flower Exchange begin throwing their hats into the ring.

In an unusually public move last week, Amazon said it would begin accepting proposals from cities and states for a new North American headquarters that could be as big as 8 million square feet and provide for as many as 50,000 employees. The announcement sparked a frenzy of interest from major cities nationwide and prompted scores of economic development officials to mull where the gigantic complex could go in their communities.

In the Bay State, developers and city officials have been preparing a bid for the Suffolk Downs racetrack, which is earmarked for redevelopment. Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo, whose community is home to one-third of the racetrack, said he believes it is one of the few sites in the country that meets all of Amazon’s criteria — which include proximity to public transportation and an international airport — and is large enough to fulfill the company’s needs.

“You could put that site up against anyone in the region and I think North America,” Arrigo said. “At the outset it’s pretty clear Amazon would be hard-pressed to find a better location for HQ2.”

The HYM Investment Group, LLC, which owns the 161-acre property, declined to comment.

Arrigo said any bid will need cooperation between Boston-based HYM, Revere and Boston. Although Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s office declined to comment on Suffolk Downs, he stressed yesterday that the city hopes to submit the best bid possible.

“We’re going to go at this hard, if we’re in this to win, we’re in it to win,” Walsh said. “We’re talking 50,000 jobs, I mean, I’ve never heard of anything like this before.”

Walsh also shot down comparisons between the Amazon bid process and the failed effort to bring the 2024 Olympics to Boston.

“This is not the Olympics, this is not IndyCar, this is not the Boston Marathon,” he said. “This is a permanent opportunity for Boston to continue to be on the world stage by having Amazon have their East Coast headquarters here in the city of Boston.“

Audrey Epstein Reny, managing partner of The Abbey Group, said her company is also preparing a proposal for the 5.6-acre site in the middle of Boston that the Boston Flower Exchange once occupied, calling it an “opportunity to…



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