In a strategic move aimed at expanding its presence in Bellevue, Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) has been steadily relocating employees to new office towers in the Eastside city. This significant development comes after construction was temporarily halted last year, affirming the e-commerce giant’s commitment to Bellevue’s growth and its goal of creating 25,000 jobs there.
As part of this relocation effort, approximately 2,000 Amazon employees are being transferred from Seattle to Bellevue. Half of these employees have already settled into the newly opened 555 Tower, which marks a major milestone in Amazon’s expansion plans. This 42-story tower has 19 completed floors, providing office space for the relocated staff. However, the company has temporarily paused interior work on the remaining floors, presumably to align with its broader strategic initiatives.
The remaining 1,000 employees are expected to make the transition to the West Main Tower 1 in the near future, according to industry reports in CoStar and Puget Sound Business Journal.
Interestingly, the Bellevue 600 campus, owned by Amazon, has experienced some adjustments to its development plans. Originally, the site was intended to host two towers, with the completion of the first 43-story tower’s core and shell work. However, the construction of the second 31-story tower was temporarily postponed. Instead, permits issued by the city of Bellevue indicate that Amazon plans to finalize a six-floor underground garage at 640 108th Ave. NE, with plans to cap it at street level.
Amazon’s decision to cap the garage is not indicative of the company abandoning its plans for the second tower. This decision is attributed to considerations related to building security, public safety, and the overall aesthetic appeal of the Bellevue 600 campus, one of the reports stated. Amazon remains dedicated to its long-term vision of furthering its presence in Bellevue and is steadfast in its commitment to contributing to the city’s growth, the company’s spokesperson said.
With a workforce of over 10,000 employees in Bellevue as of the end of 2022, Amazon has solidified its position as the city’s largest employer, as highlighted in the most recent annual comprehensive financial report. This substantial presence underscores the significant economic impact of the tech giant on the local community.
Looking ahead, Amazon has exciting plans on the horizon. Both the first Bellevue 600 tower and the Amazon-leased Artise tower, which are located in downtown Bellevue, are expected to be completed by 2024, according to the commercial real estate company Broderick Group’s newly released third-quarter report.
Furthermore, Amazon’s return-to-office mandate has had a tangible impact on the local real estate market. It has driven increased foot traffic and office usage, potentially providing a much-needed boost to a market that has experienced a recent downward cycle. As Amazon continues to invest in Bellevue, the ripple effects on the local economy and real estate market are expected to be noticeable.