Amazon leased a pair of office towers in Bellevue, Wash., just a week after buying a huge development site in the city that is rapidly becoming the epicenter of its future growth.
Developer Trammell Crow Co. said Amazon leased its 715,000-square-foot project called Binary Towers at 1001 106th Ave. N.E. in downtown Bellevue. Construction on the project is slated to begin this summer, with the building opening in 2022. Puget Sound Business Journal first reported on the deal.
The new lease comes just a few days after Amazon paid $195 million for a prime development site just a few blocks away. Though Amazon hasn’t submitted plans, the tech giant could build a signature project on the site, which will be on top of a future light rail station.
These deals show how Amazon has concentrated future growth in Bellevue — it established a presence there less than three years ago — and away from Seattle, where it spent the better part of a decade as the main engine behind an unprecedented building boom. As the tech giant has leased property after property in Bellevue in recent months, it put a huge office tower in Seattle it was set to occupy back on the market.
Driving this growth is a decision to move thousands of Seattle-based employees from the critical worldwide operations team to Bellevue in a major organizational shift.
Amazon will start relocating employees this month and expects the entire team to be in Bellevue by 2023. The company currently has 700 employees in Bellevue and more than 45,000 at its Seattle headquarters.
Amazon opened its first Bellevue office building in 2017. In less than two years, the company’s Bellevue presence has multiplied to more than 1 million square feet, not counting these two new deals.
Amazon’s move into Bellevue is somewhat of a homecoming — Bellevue was actually its original birthplace. CEO Jeff Bezos moved the company’s headquarters out of his garage and to Seattle’s urban core early on.