Amazon nabs 2M sf of new office space near Seattle

E-commerce giant is planning a major expansion

Jeff Bezos and Bellevue Washington (Getty; Unsplash)
Jeff Bezos and Bellevue Washington (Getty; Unsplash)

The demand for office space may have hit its lowest point since the dot-com crash, but that’s no deterrent for Jeff Bezos.

Amazon is planning a major expansion in Bellevue, Washington, according to the Seattle Times. The company signed leases for 2 million square feet of office space that is currently under construction, and plans to build a new skyscraper in downtown Bellevue. The move marks a major expansion into the Seattle suburb — which sits across Lake Washington from the city — where Jeff Bezos first founded the company about 25 years ago.

The e-commerce powerhouse will be leasing the office space from Vulcan Real Estate. Last July, it announced plans to build a 43-story tower, its first office in Bellevue. Amazon is planning to get a permit for a second skyscraper in the city, but has no immediate timeline, according to the Seattle Times.

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Bellevue could have the same number of Amazon employees as Arlington, Virginia, which is the future home of the company’s second headquarters. In 2018, Virginia agreed to give the company about $573 million in cash grants and tax incentives to open its second headquarters in the city. (Amazon backed out of a deal to bring half of its new headquarters to New York City after backlash from residents and local politicians.)

Amazon started leasing in Bellevue in 2016 and announced that an entire corporate division would relocate to the growing city. The city of Bellevue did not provide tax breaks or financial incentives to Amazon for the latest deal. The company projects it will bring 25,000 employees to the city by 2025.

Amazon recently announced plans to expand its tech workforce at the 660,000-square-foot Lord & Taylor building it recently bought in New York, and in five other cities across the country. It also just opened its largest office in the world, spanning 1.8 million square feet, in Hyderabad, India.

[Seattle Times] — Keith Larsen