Is Amazon Moving?


Amazon (AMZN) is apparently within days of announcing it will relocate its scattered Seattle-area offices to the city’s South Lake Union neighborhood, according to a local publication. Crosscut, which spoke with unnamed company and City Hall sources, said the relocation would take place over several years and could result in the online retailer moving nearly all of its roughly 5,000 Seattle-area employees into a single, urbanized campus.

Seattle and the surrounding area is, of course, also home to Starbucks (SBUX), Microsoft (MSFT), and numerous Boeing (BA) facilities. The city’s South Lake Union neighborhood currently consists of mostly biotech businesses and University of Washington Medical School facilities. But the local biotech industry hasn’t been growing as fast as expected. If Amazon were to move in, the area’s shift to high tech might be inevitable, and could spurn some startup growth in the neighborhood as well. Microsoft recently leased 126,000 square feet in a building one block south of the expected Amazon campus.

Amazon, which opened its online store in 1995, is one of the few Internet retail sites that survived the dot-com crash. In 1996, its first full fiscal year in business, Amazon generated $15.7 million sales. That figure increased by 800 percent the following year and in 2006, the company posted revenue of $10.71 billion. We’re curious to see what their sales figures will look like when their DRM-free music download sales start to take off. Maybe they’ll be enough to fund the move.


Jimmy Gambier

Keep in mind this is the area of Seattle that Paul Allen has invested a ton of money to be the cool new hip place to be. Looks like it’s working!

Glenn Fleishman

As a Seattleite and former Amazon employee (96-97, way back when offices were in the lovely crack district of downtown Seattle), I think this would be terrific for attracting and keeping employees. Lake Union is shaping up as the new center of Seattle. Downtown has changed, but it’s big and busy. Lake Union is quieter and will probably remain so even with the new influxes of people. Oodles of buses run there. It’s an easy commute for a lot of people by public transport.

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