BOSTON (CBS) — Boston’s Mayor Marty Walsh joined Jon Keller to discuss the city’s latest economic news, including making it to the next round of Amazon’s quest for a home for their second headquarters and possible Airbnb regulations.
Last week, Amazon announced its list of 20 cities that are finalists to host its second headquarters, Boston being one of them.
Mayor Marty Walsh said Sunday it was too early to talk about incentive packages Boston could propose in order to ensure the headquarters.
“I’m looking forward to have conversations with Amazon to see exactly what they are looking for, it’s unclear. Even mentioning Somerville and Boston and Revere. Revere and Boston put in an application together and Somerville put one in and included us in it– so I think it’s unclear what they want.”
Walsh denied giving details about what he is willing to put on the table to further lure Amazon to Massachusetts and called Keller’s questions “hypothetical.”
When Keller asked if Boston needed Amazon, Walsh said, “I don’t know if we need them, I think they would be a great addition to our city. I would love to bring a company like Amazon to Boston for opportunities for the next 10, 15, 20, 30, 40 years. I think that would be exciting for Boston.”
If Amazon were to choose a different city, Walsh said he was certain that the loss would not diminish the economic growth Boston is seeing.
“[Amazon has] a presence in Boston and they have a presence in Cambridge. And those presences are very good,” said Walsh, also mentioning that the company had been “generous” to match a $1 million donation to a Dorchester charity.
“I want them to come here for the right reasons,” he said.
Keller also discussed Walsh’s new regulations he hopes to impose upon the short-term rental industry, including Airbnb.
“Airbnb is a very bright, brilliant business model. They’ve come into different cities across America, including Boston, and it started out as a room rental in a home…which is fine, but what’s happened these have gone into full apartment buildings, these have gone into full housing units and it’s taken about 4,000 units off the market. So it’s causing even a tighter housing crunch,” said Walsh.
The Mayor said he would be filing an ordinance Monday that deals with Airbnb, and includes one part that will regulate how long people will be able to make their spaces available on Airbnb.
He explained, the individual homeowner who is subletting an apartment will be able to do that for as much time as they want. People renting their entire home out will only be able to do so for 90 days a year. Same goes for anyone who owns an entire building and is Airbnb-ing all of the units. They must also be registered as a commercial property.
Keller noted Walsh’s productive working relationship with Republican Governor Charlie Baker. Despite this, Walsh said he will most likely support Baker’s Democratic rival in the next election.
“I have a great relationship with the Governor, we work very closely together. I am not getting involved in the primary, I’m letting the primary take it’s course. There’s a good chance at the very end I will be supporting the Democratic nominee,” said Walsh. “When I ran for mayor, I went out, I had some elected officials who supported me, I did a lot of it on my own. Ultimately, it comes down to the candidates.”