Amazon, the Seattle-based tech giant, has announced plans to relocate 2,000 employees from its Seattle offices to two new downtown Bellevue towers at the end of 2023, according to a recent story in the Puget Sound Business Journal. The West Main Tower 1 and the 555 Tower, which were spared from Amazon’s construction pause in Bellevue last year, are expected to open in the fourth quarter. This relocation could potentially increase Amazon’s headcount in Bellevue to over 12,000.
With a workforce of more than 55,000 employees in Seattle and over 10,000 in Bellevue last year, Amazon’s headcount has remained relatively stable despite fluctuations over the past year. This can be attributed to the company’s corporate hiring freeze and the significant layoffs, which began in November and continued through late April, marking the largest workforce reduction in Amazon’s history.
As for the 2,000 additional Bellevue employees, Amazon has yet to disclose from which Seattle offices they would come. However, the company has confirmed plans to let go of two offices in downtown Seattle, namely the 2201 Westlake Ave. lease and the West 8th tower at 2001 Eighth Ave., which will see roughly 2,000 employees move to offices elsewhere in the area. Additionally, the company has no plans to send employees back to its office in the former Macy’s building in downtown Seattle, citing public safety concerns.
In addition, Amazon’s 140,000-square-foot space in Seattle’s Met Park North building is on the market as sublease space. While the company’s offices have been open throughout the pandemic, employees are not expected back until their assigned offices are deemed “ready.” Amazon has disclosed in an internal guideline that its Seattle-based offices are expected to be ready for employees generally between May 2 and mid-June.
As Amazon continues to navigate its way through the pandemic, its latest relocation plans are indicative of its ongoing efforts to optimize its operations and strengthen its position in the tech industry.