How the Merrimack Valley won, despite losing Amazon’s HQ2 contest

June 5, 2019

When three Merrimack Valley municipalities teamed up in 2017 to try to lure Amazon’s second headquarters to an old telecom plant in North Andover, the odds of success looked long.

And they were. The region didn’t make Amazon’s short list for its so-called HQ2, let alone win the thing, which will be located just outside of Washington, D.C.

But now it looks like the e-commerce giant will also be coming in a big way to North Andover. The company is poised to open a massive distribution center at Osgood Landing, a sprawling facility along the Merrimack River near Interstate 495 that once was an AT&T manufacturing plant. It could employ 1,500 people, developers say, and serve as a northern counterpart to Amazon’s equally huge fulfillment center in Fall River.

The 1,500 warehouse jobs won’t be like the 50,000 white-collar jobs that Amazon promised in its second-headquarters competition, which drew 238 proposals from across North America. Nor will they be similar to the 2,000 six-figure tech jobs the company’s planning at a new building — the groundbreaking was this week — in Boston’s Seaport District.

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