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How much should Boston want Amazon’s new HQ?

Jule Pattison-Gordon | 9/27/2017, 10:20 a.m.

“The state shouldn’t be focused on one big deal at a time,” Berger said. “The state should be focused on, ‘What does it take to make Massachusetts a good place to do business and to live?’ There are clear types of policies that strengthen this — having an educated workforce and having an infrastructure that works.”

Jesse Mermel, president of the Alliance for Business Leadership, told the Banner that Amazon’s desire for transportation and housing accessibility ideally would bring greater investment, public or private, in improvements to meet such needs, which will benefit all businesses. There also should be an eye on how Amazon’s arrival could bring greater equity, for instance, by engaging or locating in areas like Dudley Square or “gateway cities” that often are left out, Mermel said.

Tyler and Enrich also cautioned against generous tax breaks, noting that bidding wars can spur cities into over-offering. Enrich underscored that infrastructure improvements give more public benefit than monetary business incentives.

Walsh told the Boston Herald he will not publicly reveal what he has offered Amazon to entice it here, so as not give that information to competing cities. According to The Boston Globe, there is a limit to what the city is prepared to give financially, with Walsh stating, “We are not going to get into a bidding war with another city over something like this. It would have to be, ‘Is Amazon the right fit for Boston, and is Boston the right fit for Amazon?’”