Amazon is planning to build a 1 million-square-foot, 43-story high rise in the Seattle suburb of Bellevue, Washington, which will add to the 1 million square feet of space the internet retail giant already occupies there, according to GeekWire, and will give Bellevue its tallest building thus far.
The company purchased the site for 600 Bellevue earlier this year for $195 million, and public records obtained by GeekWire show that the skyscraper will feature 885,000 square feet of office space and 14,000 square feet of retail, as well as meeting and amenity areas, all above a future light rail station, although the layout could change as the project details are finalized. The new building is slated to house the company's Worldwide Operations headquarters and should be complete by 2024.
The 600 Bellevue project is the first of two towers Amazon is planning for the site, although the company told GeekWire that it isn't planning on building anything beyond the first tower in the foreseeable future. In fact, Amazon has renewed several leases for space in the building that the second tower would replace, indicating that the company's plans for the Phase II tower are for well into the future.
Amazon doesn't show any signs of a major shift out of Seattle, although the company did announce earlier this year, according to The Seattle Times, that it would not take up any space in Rainier Square, the 722,000-square-foot downtown Seattle building it agreed to lease in 2017 and which the company now plans to sublease. Amazon ditched plans to move there after the city implemented a $275 per employee annual "head tax" for companies that generate $20 million or more a year. The money was to go toward housing for the homeless, the number of which has increased since Seattle's booming economy has driven home prices beyond the reach of low- and middle-income workers.
The city repealed the tax before it even went into effect, but Amazon reportedly still has no plans to occupy Rainier Square, which is currently under construction.
Another controversy impacted Amazon's plans for expansion via a second North American headquarters (HQ2) earlier this year. At the end of 2018, Amazon selected Long Island City, New York, as one of two locations for its multibillion-dollar HQ2, but local politicians and activists railed against the plan to offer financial incentives to a corporation the size of Amazon. The company finally pulled out of the deal and said it would make do with the other HQ2 location — National Landing in Arlington County, Virginia — and its existing network of assets.