Worcester’s City Manager Edward Augustus Jr. has doubled down on bringing Amazon’s second headquarters to Massachusetts, announcing this week that the city would submit its own separate application.
The announcement is a shift from the city manager’s position two weeks ago, when Augustus told City Council that Worcester would join a statewide application to convince Amazon to move to Boston, because the city didn’t meet Amazon’s minimum requirements.
“This is the first time I’ve ever been accused of being a pessimist about Worcester… But I read, actually read, the RFP and see what it requires, it requires being with 45 minutes of an international airport. That’s just not what we have,” Augustus told City Council two weeks ago.
However, Augustus announced a change of mind during a City Council meeting Tuesday, stating that Worcester should cover all its bases.
“We will pursue a separate one because as far as I’m concerned we should pursue all of our options,” Augustus said. “I want to buy two lottery tickets.”
As it stands now, the Amazon headquarters move could potentially bring 50,000 jobs and an estimated $5 billion in development to the community that closes the deal. The company is looking for business-friendly communities in large metropolitan areas with the potential to attract creative talent.
The metropolitan region where Amazon locates to must also have a population of more than one million people. Worcester’s greater metropolitan area is just shy of that, but close at 935,536 people. Dozens of cities across the nation are in the running to attract Amazon.
If the headquarters were to come to Boston or another community on the state application, Worcester could end up getting a portion of the Amazon employee base moving to the city and commuting into Boston or another community.
However, Councilor Konstantina Lukes voiced her concern in a council meeting earlier this month that Worcester was going to get left behind if the city…