Amazon expanding again in Seattle

Amazon in Seattle

The added space would amount to a huge expansion for just about any other company, but it’s just another day in the life of Amazon, which has been expanding rapidly in Seattle even after announcing its HQ2 plans.

Amazon has leased two more mid-sized office buildings in South Lake Union as the company’s rapid growth in Seattle continues unabated.

The company confirmed Friday it has leased all the office space in the new 11-story, 162,000-square-foot building at 9th and Thomas. It has also leased about 186,000 square feet in the former Pemco Insurance headquarters on Eastlake Avenue, next to the REI flagship store.

A year-end report from the Broderick Group, out Friday, said Amazon had five of the seven biggest leases signed in Seattle in 2017. Those deals added another 1.65 million to the company’s footprint.

The two latest deals mean the company has seven of the nine biggest leases in the city since the start of 2017.

Amazon - Biggest Company Ever in Seattle

In all, the company has expanded by 2 million square feet just since January 2017. For perspective: No other company has 2 million square feet total in the entire city!

WaMu, which was the city’s biggest office tenant before the Amazon boom, topped out at 1.6 million square feet last decade before folding in the recession.

The 9th and Thomas building is a typical choice for Amazon, which has favored brand-new, mid-rise buildings in South Lake Union. Another plus, there are several other Amazon offices within spitting distance. The Pemco lease on Eastlake is a bit more unusual — it’s an older building, and is the furthest east of all its current offices.

In all, Amazon occupies or plans to move into more than 40 buildings across South Lake Union and the Denny Triangle! All this growth has occurred in this decade.

There are no visible signs yet that the company’s plans to open a second headquarters elsewhere has affected growth in Seattle. Amazon’s expansion continues at roughly the same pace now as it did before the HQ2 announcement last September.

By Mike Rosenberg
Seattle Times business reporter

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