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Orange vies to be Amazon’s second home

  • Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in Seattle in a June 2014 file image. In a press release Thursday, Amazon announced it is planning to build a second, 'equal' headquarters in another city. (Ken Lambert/Seattle Times/TNS) Ken Lambert



Recorder Staff
Wednesday, December 06, 2017

ORANGE — Orange is one of 238 town and cities in North America vying to be the home of Amazon’s second headquarters, which promises to generate massive amounts of employment and tax revenue wherever it settles.

Denise Andrews, a town resident and former state representative for the 2nd Franklin District, was asked several months ago by Orange Selectboard Clerk James Cornwell to submit to Amazon a letter of intent on behalf of the town. She addressed the Selectboard at its meeting Wednesday to bring members up to speed on what she called “a middle-class opportunity.”

Amazon, an electronic commerce company, has pledged to invest — according to USA Today — $5 billion in the community it taps to host its second headquarters, also known as HQ2.

Andrews said Orange has two great potential spots — one off Route 2’s Exit 15 and another on a Rodney Hunt Fontaine Inc. site that possibly could be repurposed with federal and state money. She said the area is perfect for the development due to low real estate costs, the Orange Municipal Airport, and proximity to talent brewing at Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and other internationally-renowned schools. Amazon is expected to make its decision in 2018.

“It would be transformative — totally transformative,” she said prior to Wednesday’s meeting.

Andrews said the second headquarters would generate millions of dollars in tax revenue and create 50,000 jobs. She said she estimates 20,000 people were employed by local factories in the area’s heyday. She also acknowledged landing the opportunity is a long-shot.

“However, it was a long-shot to the get to the moon,” she told Selectboard members.

Amazon’s Seattle headquarters sports more than 40,000 employees in 33 buildings, according to the British Broadcasting Corporation.

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 258

On Twitter: @DomenicPoli