With continued economic uncertainty across the country, it is perhaps with particular emphasis that we should consider what one of the largest U.S. e-commerce companies is doing. According to two sources, Amazon is looking to slow down development activity in Bellevue by putting a number of projects on hold. That includes both construction and tenant improvement projects, according to one source, however, there may be more work in jeopardy.
The Registry received information earlier this week that Amazon has asked for construction work on three Bellevue projects to be stopped immediately for up to 24 months. Further investigation narrowed that down to Amazon making a decision not to develop the second tower of its Bellevue 600 project. According to previous reporting by The Registry, Amazon formally submitted plans at the end of 2020 for Phase II of Bellevue 600, its 553,910 square foot office tower located between 108th Ave. NE and 110th Ave. NE.
In addition, a source shared that Amazon is also stopping work on half of the tenant improvement work in Vulcan’s 42-story 967,500 Square foot high-rise office project Tower 555 located at 555 108th in Bellevue. According to additional reporting by local media, Amazon is looking to pause work on as many as six towers totaling over 3 million square feet.
“The pandemic has significantly changed the way people work. For our corporate and tech roles, we’ve adopted a hybrid model that offers employees increased flexibility — each team decides the balance between in-office and remote work that makes sense for them,” said John Schoettler, Amazon’s vice president of global real estate and facilities in a statement to the Puget Sound Business Journal. “It’s early days and like many companies, we’re still learning how these new habits may impact our office footprint. Our offices are long-term investments and we want to make sure that we design them in a way that meets our employees’ needs in the future.”
This leaves unanswered questions about specific work that Amazon is developing in the Eastside city and how the company and its development partners plan to finalize their plans. West Main, a full block on the north side of Main Street between 105th and 106th Avenues NE, also under development by Vulcan, is likely one of the six properties that will be affected. This development is planned to contain three 16- to 17-story towers totaling 1,036,000 square feet of office plus 33,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space when completed. Also, Schnitzer West’s The Artise, a 664,855 square foot development designed by NBBJ and located on a 1.5-acre development site at 10635 NE 8th St., is most likely another project that Amazon wants to stop developing for the time being.
Sellen Construction and Turner Construction are two major builders that are involved in these projects, and this stoppage will likely have an immediate effect on their work. In addition, this will likely reverberate throughout the region and especially the Eastside, which has continued to gain investment and development trust over the last two years and since the global COVID-19 pandemic broke.
The Registry reached out to Amazon for a comment, and none had been provided.