Amazon may be actively looking for a second headquarters location somewhere in North America, but it is not letting up pressure on the Seattle market while doing so. In a report by the Puget Sound Business Journal, Amazon is taking the office portion of the Olson Kundig-designed 9th & Thomas building in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood. The owner of the property is an entity associated with Sellen Construction, which has owned the location for decades. It is the location where the company’s founder, John Sellen, started the company.
The mixed-use nature of the property includes nearly 153,000 square feet of office space, now leased by Amazon, approximately 12,000 square feet of retail, and just over 2,400 feet of residential space at the top of the building. The residential portion is planned for private use by Sellen’s President Scott Redman, the grandson of John Sellen.
According to the proposal submitted to the city about the project, the site’s neighborhood consists of a diverse mixture of building types at various scales. These include office, residential, hospitality and retail uses. Most of the neighborhood has been transformed by the Amazon headquarters, which is spread across numerous buildings in the city’s submarket.
The plans for the development provide a glimpse into the structure, which has an open floor-plate design. Several of the office floors have terraces that will allow outdoor use during the summer days. The top floor features terraces that are about half the floor’s area, while the mechanical system and residential use take roughly the other half of the top floor area. The residential component will feature 18 feet of floor-to-ceiling space.
The project is inspired by the industrial legacy of South Lake Union neighborhood, the proposal document states, “a building that provides graceful functionality, flexibility and acts as a platform for the businesses, shops and residences that will inhabit it over time.” Like a warehouse, the building is an open framework for activity, expressive of its structural and material elements, while adapting easily to changing uses and users, according to the proposal.