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Amazon Confirms Plans to Lease 430,000 SF on Boston Waterfront, Add 2,000 Jobs

E-Commerce Giant Doubling Boston-Area 'Alexa Hub' Workforce at WS Development's Seaport Project
May 1, 2018
Rendering of Amazon's new tech hub building in Boston's Seaport district. Photo credit: Amazon.com, Inc.


"Alexa, lease more space."

Amazon.com, Inc. has formally announced plans to add 2,000 engineers and other research and development jobs at its Boston tech hub and expand into 430,000 square feet at WS Development's massive Seaport waterfront project.

The new office slated to open in 2021 will support Amazon's development of machine learning, speech, cloud computing and robotics capabilities for its digital assistant Alexa. The expansion in WS Development' 7.6 million-square-foot Seaport development constitutes a doubling of its tech workforce in the Boston area, known within the company as the "Alexa Hub."

Rohit Prasad, Amazon's vice president and head scientist in charge of Alexa, noted that the company has grown the Boston operation a handful of software developers and scientists to a team of more than 1,200 in just a few years. Combined with its customer fulfillment facilities, Amazon has added more than 3,500 jobs and since 2011 has invested more than $400 million in Massachusetts.

Between its fulfillment centers and tech offices in Cambridge and Boston, Amazon already employs 3,500 people in Massachusetts.

In part because of its existing presence and the strategic importance of Amazon Alexa, Boston has been consider a leading contender for Amazon's big prize, the $5 billion HQ2 expected bring as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs. The online shopping giant, which in January said it had narrowed the list from 238 initial proposals to 20 finalists, expects to make a decision this year.

It's the second major expansion announced this week by the Seattle-based firm following yesterday's unveiling of plans for a 416,000-square-foot office and hiring for 3,000 cloud computing, machine learning and fulfillment positions in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The recent expansion reports have fueled speculation about whether the announcements are effectively "consolation prizes," or whether they telegraph the metro as having a better chance of winning the second headquarters.

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Randyl Drummer, Senior News Reporter  CoStar Group   

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