Amazon Expands Boston-Area Office, Room for About 800

One of the technology industry’s biggest names is increasing its footprint in Boston.

Real estate records show that Amazon recently added about 11,000 square feet to its existing offices in Cambridge’s Kendall Square neighborhood, right next to the prime recruiting grounds at MIT.

It’s a popular spot for West Coast technology giants to set up shop as they race to hire talented employees, especially outside the highly competitive San Francisco Bay Area. Google and Microsoft  have significant offices in the same area of Cambridge, and Facebook has added an engineering outpost of its own. Apple also previously established a smaller office, with a focus on speech technology.

With the additional space, records show Amazon has now leased six full floors at 101 Main Street, representing about 40 percent of the office tower’s rentable square footage. That could be enough room for about 800 people, using one commercial real-estate industry estimate of about 175 square feet per office worker.

Amazon declined to comment on its new lease, which was signed in early April. The document shows that Amazon expects to occupy the new space at the beginning of June—it looks like Amazon is essentially taking over the other half of the ninth floor, on which it already had a significant presence.

The Seattle-based company began building a serious outpost in the Boston area following its 2012 purchase of Kiva Systems, a warehouse robotics company based in North Reading, MA, for $775 million.

Amazon originally signed its big Kendall Square lease last year, several months after Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick announced a political deal that would see Amazon begin collecting sales taxes on purchases made in the state.

In return, Patrick pledged to help work for a federal Internet sales tax system, something Amazon has sought for years while frequently dodging state-by-state efforts to make it collect and remit sales taxes. At the time, Patrick also prominently noted Amazon’s plans to “create hundreds of high tech jobs in Massachusetts in coming years.”

Xconomy first uncovered Amazon’s lease details last summer. We’ve also looked into the kind of jobs Amazon is filling in the Boston area, which run the gamut of things the company works on—digital media, consumer electronics, Web services, and more. Speech recognition is also a key focus, with Boston listed as one of the marquee cities on Amazon’s speech-technology hiring page.

As of this week, there were nearly 70 jobs posted on Amazon’s internal job boards for positions in Boston or Cambridge. About 300 people list themselves as working at Amazon in the Boston area on LinkedIn.

Here’s a copy of Amazon’s new lease:

Trending on Xconomy