By Kristin Bentley

amazon3Up until today, it was just a rumor that retail giant Amazon was looking for office space in Bellevue. However, it was confirmed that the e-commerce firm signed a lease last Friday with Bellevue-based Schnitzer West to fully occupy Centre 425, a 350,000-square-foot office development that is under construction, according to sources familiar with the deal.

Located at 425 106th Avenue N.E., Centre 425 is a 16-story office building designed by Seattle-based architecture firm NBBJ that is anticipated to be completed by the end of the year. Amenities of the project include a high-tech conference and training center, fitness center and a large great room. Sources say Amazon will most likely begin moving into the building in 2017. Neither officials from Amazon or Schnitzer West were available for comment.

Over the last few years, Bellevue has become a location of increased interest to tech companies, which is proven evident purely by how many have moved there. In August, Valve signed an agreement to take nine floors of the Kemper Development’s Lincoln Square expansion. San Francisco-based Salesforce signed a lease for 75,000 square feet in the new 929 Office Tower, a project by Dallas-based Trammell Crow, which doubled its presence in the region and made it into the tech company’s largest engineering hub outside of it headquarters.

According to Colliers International’s first quarter 2016 Bellevue Downtown Office Market report, the technology sector in its many forms, such as video game developers, software companies, social media, IT support and online retailers, account for nearly 70 percent of downtown Bellevue’s current tenant mix and approximately 65 percent of all users actively looking for office space in Bellevue’s downtown core.