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There may be a frontrunner in the race to house Amazon’s second headquarters.

SPECIAL COVERAGE: Amazon to build second HQ in North America

Bloomberg reported Tuesday that senior-level Amazon execs are pushing for the company to put its “HQ2” in Boston, where the tech giant already has several ties.

The Massachusetts capital checks off many of the requirements laid out by Amazon last week, when the Seattle-based company made a surprise announcement that it plans to build a second headquarters in a North American city to be determined. The news sparked reaction from city leaders across the country who invited Amazon to bring the proposed $5 billion headquarters and 50,000 jobs to their metro — including Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, who told the Boston Business Journal that “if Amazon wants an East Coast headquarters, I don’t see any city better in America than Boston, Massachusetts.”

GeekWire editor John Cook also noted Boston in his list of six cities that Amazon should consider for its new hub:

There’s a war for talent across the tech landscape, and perhaps no city produces as many top young minds in areas such as robotics, AI, computer vision, cloud computing as Boston. Beantown used to be one of the most important tech hubs on the planet, but through a series of mergers, relocations and just bad luck (remember, Facebook was started there but migrated to Silicon Valley shortly after it was founded) the home to the Red Sox and Patriots has lost air faster than a Tom Brady football. Now, none of the gang of five tech giants — Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook or Microsoft — call Boston home. Amazon already has a growing footprint in Boston, and earlier this year it announced plans to add another 900 jobs at offices near General Electric’s headquarters. We expect Boston to be a serious East Coast contender for Amazon.

Boston was also the highest-scoring U.S. city in this analysis by GeekWire contributor Tim Ellis that ranked potential cities on data.

Bloomberg also noted that Amazon bought Boston-based Kiva Systems for $775 million 2012, while a new breakthrough at MIT related to voice technology could be another draw to the region.

However, Amazon’s official news account on Twitter said that “Bloomberg is incorrect.”

Here are the four main criteria that Amazon set out in its HQ2 RFP:

  • Metropolitan areas with more than one million people
  • A stable and business-friendly environment
  • Urban or suburban locations with the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent
  • Communities that think big and creatively when considering locations and real estate options

While Walsh may have voiced his support for a greater Amazon presence in Boston, he told The Boston Globe that “we are not going to get into a bidding war with another city over something like this.” The Globe also noted expensive housing, transportation infrastructure, and labor shortage in Boston as potential reasons for why Amazon would go elsewhere.

Other potential cities Amazon could build its “HQ2” include Toronto, Austin, Chicago, and others. The Bloomberg story noted how Amazon execs considered Toronto as a second headquarters location a few years ago, but Jeff Wilke, the head of Amazon’s consumer business who will speak at the upcoming GeekWire Summit, wanted to keep “HQ2” in the U.S.

Amazon’s request for proposals gives a deadline of Oct. 17, with a site selection and announcement slated for 2018.

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