Photo: Robert Scoble/Flickr
Since Amazon announced it will be setting up a second headquarters somewhere in North America with up to 50,000 employees, Seattle has been speculating about what this will mean for the future.
The Seattle Times predicts that in the short term, Amazon’s new headquarters won’t have too much of an impact. Amazon has committed to occupying 12 million square feet of Seattle office space by 2022, and only two-thirds of that campus is complete.
Amazon now has more prime office space in Seattle than the next 40 biggest employers combined. The company also has more local job openings than all of the other region’s major employers combined.
But in the long term, the Times analysis foresees that Amazon reaching its peak in Seattle and growing elsewhere could slow bidding wars for homes as well as the influx of newcomers driving up rents. This could be welcome news for priced out tenants and lower-middle class homebuyers.
Amazon’s growth has attracted billions of dollars from foreign interests into Seattle’s development boom in recent years. The second headquarters is likely to signal to international investors that the office real estate market heyday in Seattle is coming to a close.
Others hope the tech giant won’t set up shop too far away. Tacoma is proposing two to three acres of undeveloped land, with views of Commencement Bay, according to Geekwire. The site has room for 300,000 to 400,000 square feet of office space. Tacoma’s proposal will include additional locations to accommodate Amazon’s desire for space. The company requires an initial 500,000 square feet and eventually could need up to 8,000,000.
Tacoma is joined by city leaders from from Toronto to Tulsa, Oklahoma all clamoring for the opportunity to be the next Amazon company town.