Amazon has applied for liquor licenses at three new locations in the Seattle region, signaling a possible plan to speed up deliveries to residents of its hometown.
AmazonFresh, the company’s grocery delivery service, is seeking liquor licenses for locations in downtown Seattle, North Seattle and Kirkland, Wash., according to applications filed with the Washington State Liquor Control Board. The applications, first discovered by KIRO-TV, come as Amazon seeks to shorten delivery times by establishing urban distribution centers for its Amazon Prime Now service, which has yet to launch in the Seattle region.
The filings are notable in part because AmazonFresh recently stopped delivering beer and wine in the Seattle region.
The most surprising location is the one on the northern edge of downtown Seattle, because rents there are typically considered too high for distribution centers. However, in this case, Amazon owns the property. The location at 2121 8th Ave. is part of the three-block site acquired by Amazon in Seattle’s Denny Triangle neighborhood, where the company is constructing a 3.3 million-square-foot headquarters expansion.
The building, at the corner of Blanchard Street and 8th Avenue, is the longtime site of a Toyota car dealership.
The North Seattle location was leased by Amazon last month for a minimum of five years, with options for extensions totaling 10 additional years, according to King County property records found by GeekWire today. Located at 13537 Aurora Ave. N., the building was leased to Amazon by the non-profit John Volken Foundation.
KIRO-TV reports that the building currently houses a furniture retailer, which is hosting a liquidation sale.
The third building is located in Kirkland, Wash. at 11710 118th Ave. N.E. Other than being a nondescript office park, the space has quick access to Interstate 405, which connects to the entire Eastside.
Ultimately, it’s unclear exactly how Amazon will be using these buildings, and a company representative did not reply to an email seeking comment. These locations could serve multiple purposes, including test beds for new services to come. Other purposes could include public pick-up points or showrooms to display the company’s most current gadgets for sale, especially in the case of the downtown location.
Similar urban locations operated by Amazon in other cities provide some hints, too.
The Amazon warehouse that has received the most attention is located in Manhattan. Amazon uses the space to store popular household items to make same-day deliveries to nearby residents. The company’s new Amazon Prime Now service promises to ship items to subscribers within two hours for free (as long as you pay $99 a year for Amazon Prime).
Since launching in New York, Amazon has turned on the service in six more markets, and aims to roll out in more cities as quickly as possible. Some Amazon Prime Now locations have started to stock frozen and chilled grocery items. The company has not disclosed when it will be launching in its hometown of Seattle.