SEATTLE – Is Amazon tired of Seattle?
That's the question many are asking after the retail, entertainment and technology giant has announced that it no longer plans to occupy offices in the gigantic skyscraper -Kiel Rainier Square under construction in the city of Emerald.
Earlier, Amazon had leased all of the 722,000-square-foot office space inside the building for thousands of new employees, as part of a continued expansion of its presence in Seattle .
However, when the Seattle City Council passed an entry fee that would have cost about $ 275 per employee, each year and by Amazon, for the next five years, the company has revolted and threatened to sublet the premises of Rainier Square. the tax has not been canceled.
After these threats, the Seattle City Council has finally repealed the fee – but it now appears that Amazon will in any case sublet this space, according to several media reports.
The company has given no public reason for its decision to abandon Rainier Square. Some observers have noted, however, that this decision followed an earlier decision to make New York one of the two sites of its so-called QG2 – and may indicate that the company is tired of the incessant criticism of some members of Seattle City Council.
The question now is: where will Amazon install these thousands of new employees who have occupied the Rainier Square space?
Bellevue is a possibility.
Amazon has already signed a 16-year lease for a Bellevue office tower at 333 108th Avenue NE, with enough office space for 4,500 employees. The lease will include all office space in the 20-storey building starting in 2020. The company also plans to purchase the Bellevue Corporate Plaza, a 10-storey building next door.
This lease and this acquisition constitute Amazon's second major move to Bellevue – the city where Jeff Bezos originally founded the company in his home's garage – and could mark the beginning of a closer relationship with the company. city, considered by some as a larger company. -friendly as Seattle.
Yet, even though Amazon is deciding to establish a larger presence on the east side of Lake Washington, the fact remains that it will retain a huge footprint and thousands of employees at its headquarters in Seattle.
And that means the city will remain a major player in the city's future, despite its latest initiatives to expand elsewhere.