Amazon May Have Dropped a Clue About a Likely HQ2 Location

January 11, 2018, 3:13 PM UTC

Amazon announced in September that it was searching North America for a site for a second major headquarters, dubbed HQ2, in addition to its massive Seattle base. But the e-commerce giant may have given a clue about a region it likes in recently uncovered plans to expand in one city.

Amazon is in talks to lease 500,000 square feet of offices in Boston’s Fort Point Channel neighborhood, a hot destination for tech companies, with an option to double the amount of space also being discussed, the Boston Globe reported on Thursday. The search started before Amazon publicly disclosed its HQ2 search, the paper said.

That sounds a lot like the first stage of the plan Amazon laid out for HQ2. Though the second headquarters is ultimately projected to house 50,000 workers in a $5 billion, 8-million square foot campus by 2027, Amazon said the first phase of the project would be to open about 500,000 square feet of space in 2019 in the new city.

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Fortune asked Amazon for comment on its Boston office space and will update this story if a response is received.

The Boston metro region has already seen rapid expansion by Amazon, where the company currently employs about 1,000 people. Amazon’s first major office was opened five years ago in the Kendall Square area of Cambridge near MIT. It later opened an office in Boston’s Back Bay and was already preparing 150,000 square foot of new space in the Fort Point Channel area.

In the HQ2 search, which is supposed to be completed before the end of this year, Amazon (AMZN) said it was targeting a metro area with at least 1 million residents with a “stable and business-friendly environment.” The company received some 238 proposals for HQ2, including one from Boston, along with Chicago, Dallas, New York, and Washington D.C. The proposals included all kinds of sweeteners to lure Amazon. Chula Vista, Calif., offered to give the company $100 million worth of land, for example.

Outsiders have tried to guess which region is most likely to win. One betting web site listed Atlanta as the favorite, followed by Austin, Boston, and Toronto. But the proposals have come in from all manner of towns, cities, and counties in the United States and Canada.

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