Amazon’s real estate footprint ballooned in 2020

CEO Jeff Bezos announces plans to step down following massive Q4

Jeff Bezos (Getty, Amazon/Illustration by Alexis Manrodt for The Real Deal)
Jeff Bezos (Getty, Amazon/Illustration by Alexis Manrodt for The Real Deal)

It’s a new era for Amazon.

Jeff Bezos is stepping down as CEO of the company and transitioning to executive chair of the Amazon board. Andy Jassy, chief executive of Amazon’s cloud computing division, will become CEO during the third quarter of this year.

But, as the saying goes, the more things change, the more they stay the same. The e-commerce giant experienced another stellar quarter, buoyed by the pandemic, Prime Day and the holiday season.

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The online shopping empire saw net income soar to $7.2 billion in the fourth quarter, compared with $3.3 billion during the same period last year.

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Amazon has also been growing its fulfillment centers, adding 50 percent to their square footage year-over-year.

“2020 was a big build year for us,” CFO Brian Olsavsky said during an earnings call Tuesday.

The company has also grown its grocery store offerings. Amazon Fresh grocery stores expanded into seven new cities in California and Illinois, bringing the total to eight customer-facing locations and five ghost stores. Half a dozen new stores are set to open.

Beyond its warehouses and brick-and-mortar stores, Amazon unveiled plans for the second phase of construction for its headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. Amazon plans to build 2.8 million square feet of office space, which will support 25,000 jobs.

During the fourth quarter, the company also announced plans to invest $2 billion into a new Housing Equity Fund. The fund will preserve and create over 20,000 affordable housing units where its headquarters are in Washington State’s Puget Sound region; Arlington, Virginia; and Nashville, Tennessee.

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