Amazon.com Inc. recently announced plans to add 100,000 jobs nationwide over the next 18 months while the Boston Globe reports that the tech and retail giant is looking to lease up to 200,000 square feet of office space in downtown Boston.
Amazon already has a large and growing presence in Kendall Square, Cambridge, but in eyeing downtown Boston it would join a string of tech companies that have set up shop downtown, including the corporate headquarters of General Electric in the adjacent seaport district.
“Downtown Boston already has tremendous street cred in the tech world,” said Brendan Carroll, head of Encompass Real Estate Strategy, which tracks Boston’s office market. “But Amazon moving in would be a really big thing.”
Amazon did not return messages seeking comment last week, and the sources with knowledge of its search would not discuss it publicly, citing the ongoing negotiations. And Amazon could yet scrap the plans, or choose to expand in Cambridge instead, the sources told the Globe.
On its website, the company currently advertises 332 job openings in Cambridge and at a robotics facility it bought in North Reading in 2012.
In August, Amazon leased an additional floor-and-a-half in Kendall Square, bringing its total space in Kendall Square to about 171,000 square feet, according to Middlesex County property records, the Globe reports.
The Cambridge office includes a speech science lab that works on Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant product.
Most of 100,000 new jobs will come at its so-called fulfillment centers, the vast distribution facilities such as the 1-million-square-foot warehouse it opened in September in Fall River. Amazon now has 39 warehouses of that size across the country, according to Encompass data, with more now under construction and hiring.
Yet like many companies looking to keep growing in Kendall, Amazon is apparently finding that space is hard to come by, Carroll said.
“If you know one thing about Amazon, you know they move very, very fast,” he told the Globe.