Amazon’s expansion in Seattle seems endless even as the company seeks locations that will provide enough space to build its second headquarters. The company has snapped up two office buildings in the South Lake Union neighborhood. One of the leases is a new place called 9th and Thomas, occupying 156,000 square feet. The other location previously served as headquarters of insurance firm Pemco and occupies 168,300 square feet.
The two buildings are under renovations to enable Amazon move in by June. The 9th & Thomas building has served as headquarters for Sellen Construction for more than half a century. Sellen, a general contractor, was involved in the construction of the office block which was completed last year and has an apartment on the top floor that will house a home for Sellen President Scott Redman.
The other location has served as Pemco headquarters since 1949. The block was sold to Unico Properties in 2015 when Pemco decided to move into a smaller space at 1300 Dexter Ave. N.
Unico has renovated the buildings which were built in the 70’s and 80’s to suit modern tastes for tech companies.
Last year Amazon dominated the Seattle real estate market by snapping up more than 1 million square feet of office space. The company took up the space above Macy’s store in downtown Seattle measuring 475,000 square feet and another 722,000 square feet at the Rainier Square project also in downtown Seattle.
Last year Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder and CEO said the company was seeking a second headquarters that will be equal to the current headquarters in Seattle. He added that the new location will create tens of thousands of high-paying jobs and result in billions of dollars in up-front and ongoing investments for the host city or state.
The company projects an outlay of $5 billion in construction costs for the new complex and the creation of 50,000 new top-paying jobs. According to the Request for Proposals (RFP), cities with more than one million residents and an environment that is business-friendly will be given preference. The location should also have the ability to attract solid technical talent in software development and allied fields while maintaining creativity when considering available real estate options. Amazon occupies 8.1 million square feet in Seattle spread across 33 buildings and employs 541,900 people worldwide according to the RFP.