Amazon’s been secretly taking a surf break the last two years,
The Silicon Valley Business Journal reported (paywall) this week that Amazon has quietly expanded its office in Santa Cruz, California, within the last two years, and no one knows why.
The 40,000-square-foot office holds 100 people. But that number may climb to 200, as the office looks to expand.
“It's unclear what exactly the team there is working on or why Amazon has picked Santa Cruz as an office location,” according to CNBC.
The report said a group of engineers working on Alexa voice technology.
But unlike in the Bay Area, where resistance to tech expansion has led to company shuttle buses being blocked and even vandalized, opposition to Amazon in Santa Cruz has been relatively minimal, SiliconBeat reported.
Reports of a “mysterious” office come a day after TechCrunch reported that tech company Snap hoped to build a “seculaded R&D lab” in Lehi.
The Deseret News later confirmed with Snap that the company’s move to the Beehive State is a possibility, but in no means a lock.
As for Amazon, the company announced last month it hopes to expand its reach with a second headquarters somewhere in the United States. The company has asked cities for proposals, hoping to choose a spot that can add 50,000 jobs with its new location, according to The Verge.
Critics remain skeptical about Amazon opening a second headquarters, though. Iowa State University economist David Swenson told the Deseret News that it ends up costing too much money to lure big companies to states.
"State and local governments have been in a destructive race to attract capital and have been spending and squandering resources in these pursuits," he said. "It's frequently the case that these deals don't pencil out and the recipients never generate the kind of economic activity that makes the taxpayers whole again."