Amazon Expands HQ Beyond Seattle

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Amazon Expands HQ Beyond Seattle

By Thad Rueter - 09/04/2020
An Amazon-provided rending of its new Bellevue building.

Amazon is moving — well, sort of.

The e-commerce and cloud computing company said that it plans to add 10,000 more jobs in Bellevue, Washington in the “next few years.” Amazon's headquarters will remain in Seattle, but that city can present commuting and other challenges to Amazon employees, not the least of which includes the high price of housing for those who desire to live in close proximity to downtwon.

To accommodate the expansion, Amazon secured an additional 2-million-square-feet of office space in downtown Bellevue by leasing new, iconic, and sustainable properties from Vulcan: 555 Tower and West Main.  The projects are already under development.

“These projects will provide our teams with state-of-the-art office space, and the community with new amenities – such as public parks and retail space,” said John Schoettler, Amazon’s vice president of real estate and facilities. They will “help fulfill the city’s vision of a thriving, connected, and pedestrian-friendly business district. Both sites are walking distance from the future Bellevue Downtown Station, scheduled to open in 2023 as part of Sound Transit’s East Link extension.”

Additionally, in the coming weeks, as Amazon said it will begin the process of developing the second phase of its Bellevue 600 project. Designed by the Seattle-based firm NBBJ, this 27-story office tower will also create new retail amenities and additional green space open to the community.

Amazon is not the only retail to rethink its headquarters. In August, REI Co-op said it would redefine the corporate headquarters concept — a signal of how this year of the pandemic is changing the thinking of retailers. The seller of outdoor gear and apparel said that it is trying to sell its newly completed corporate campus in the Spring District neighborhood of Bellevue, Washington. Instead, REI prefers what it calls a less centralized approach to its headquarters presence in the Seattle area.