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Amazon formally announces expansion into Boston's Seaport, plan to create 2000 jobs

03 May 2018

A concept design of Amazon's new tech hub in Boston.

The online retail giant uses its Boston base to focus on developing its digital assistant Alexa, as well as Amazon Web Services and audiobook seller Audible.

The company now has about 1,200 workers in the city, according to Rohit Prasad, a Boston-based vice president and head scientist of Amazon Alexa.

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The plan is unrelated to Amazon's search for a second headquarters that attracted 238 bids from 43 US states, as well as from Washington and Puerto Rico, six Canadian provinces, and three Mexican states.

It's confirmation of a move that has been much-talked-about in Boston's tech and real estate circles in recent months, as WS Development negotiated a lease for a full, 430,000-square-foot building in its Seaport Square project and $5 million in city property tax breaks for Amazon.

Amazon formally announced Tuesday plans to expand its presence in MA. In the meantime, Canada launched a fast-track visa program for highly skilled workers past year, which indeed, may very well have something to do with Amazon's decision on Vancouver. Since 2011, Amazon has invested more than $400 million in the city, adding corporate offices and fulfilment centers.

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On Monday, Amazon announced plans for a new 416,000-square-foot office in Vancouver, B.C. There are plans to employ 3,000 more workers across similar fields as in Boston.

"Today's announcement is a testament to Canada's highly-skilled, diverse workforce and tremendous potential as an innovation and tech hub", said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who was on hand for today's announcement.

Even as Amazon continues to weigh the 20 finalist regions - Boston included - for its second headquarters, the company has pushed ahead with a series of announcements of expansions to its existing footprint outside its Seattle headquarters.

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Prime Minister Trudeau was also in attendance and said there are many reasons why industry giants such as Amazon choose to settle and grow in Canada. Amazon is expected to announce the location of its HQ2 later in 2018.

Amazon formally announces expansion into Boston's Seaport, plan to create 2000 jobs