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October 19, 2017

MetroWest coalition offers 6.6M sq. ft. to Amazon

Courtesy/495 Crossroads 495 Crossroads is proposing 10 sites that make up two campuses for Amazon's HQ2.

Marlborough is leading a coalition of five MetroWest communities in a bid to land Amazon’s HQ2. 

In a 73-page document by the Marlborough Economic Development Corp. for a group called 495 Crossroads made up of the city, Northborough, Southborough, Westborough and Hudson, Amazon is offered a total of 6.6 million square feet of space. 

The MetroWest coalition is one of many cities and states submitted a bid to land Seattle-based Amazon’s second headquarters, which is expected to bring 50,000 high-paying jobs and a $5-billion infrastructure investment to whichever area the company chooses. Bids are due today. 

Potential sites include a proposed 2.5-million-square-foot North Campus at shovel-ready sites and planned business parks on the borders of Marlborough and Northborough. 

A proposed South Campus includes 4.3 million square feet of space along I-495 in Southborough and Westborough at sites owned by Dell EMC, office parks and vacant land. 

The group’s proposal does not greatly detail tax breaks it could offer to the company, but did detail state and local tools that could and would be utilized, such as tax-increment financing.

“The timeframe for reaching a TIF agreement varies slightly by community, but the City of Marlborough and Town of Westborough are committed to executing TIF agreements in four weeks or less, and all communities will work aggressively to meet the needs of the Amazon HQ2 project,” the group wrote in its official bid.

The group touts its strong local education systems, access to public transportation, proximity to colleges in Worcester and Boston, access to more than 3 million people across three counties, access to I-495 and the Mass Pike and a network of development-ready sites.

The group included company testimonials from GE Life Sciences and Walker Realty (which is developing a 500,000-square-foot commercial space), both of whom located to Marlborough due to its accessibility and business-friendly attitude.

The group cites several large companies in the area: Wholefoods, Dell EMC, Raytheon, Boston Scientific, TJX and Bose. 

“Those companies have clustered in our region because we offer access to a talented and highly educated workforce, strong transportation infrastructure and an excellent quality of life,” the group said.

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