One of the local tech giants in Puget Sound, Amazon, has plans to significantly expand their footprint outside of their downtown Seattle locations.
According to The Seattle Times and the Puget Sound Business Journal, over the past couple of years Amazon has assembled an impressive real-estate portfolio in Bellevue. It is currently in excess of 1 million sq.ft., with enough room for thousands of employees.
Today, however, sources indicate that Amazon will purchase an additional 3.5-acre site in downtown Bellevue for a reported $195 million.
The sale has been anticipated for months and is a definitive indication that Amazon has big expansion plans for Bellevue. This newest planned development site, along with their current real estate will create enough room for more than 25,000 employees.
According to Dave Clark, Amazon senior vice president of worldwide operations, in an email to employees, “Our vision is to create an urban campus in downtown Bellevue where employees will all be within walking distance of each other and have easy access to public transit.”
There are many factors contributing to Amazons decision to expand more aggressively in Bellevue. Many other tech companies are also developing a large presence on both sides of the lake, as many workers are frustrated with the logistical hassles of commuting to downtown Seattle.
There are other factors likely contributing, as well. For example, Amazon’s well publicized disagreement with Seattle City Halls’ 2018 head-tax fight still reverberating. Amazon in a statement praised Bellevue for its amenities, quality of life, talent pool and “business friendly environment” …which would seem to be a back handed message to Seattle City Hall.
There were rumors that possibly Bellevue would be the beneficiary of Amazons scuttled New York City expansion. But Amazon executives have said that this move to Bellevue is not linked to the company’s “HQ2” decisions and that it was already on the drawing boards.