Amazon’s office space grab in Bellevue could eventually rival HQ2

by Ashley Stewart | February 19, 2019 | Puget Sound Business Journal

Amazon is considering enough office space in Bellevue to give it room for 25,000 employees — the equivalent of its proposed HQ2 — as the company withdraws plans to build an office that size in New York.

Amazon has leased three towers in Bellevue and well-placed commercial real estate industry sources say Amazon plans to take two proposed Vulcan Real Estate developments plus and a two-tower project that Trammel Crow Co. is planning. Amazon according to sources has put down earnest money to buy a development site called 600 Bellevue, where an older office building called Bellevue Corporate Plaza stands.

Amazon has already said it plans to reach 4,500 employees in Bellevue by 2020. The Business Journal estimates the company will eventually have at least 3.9 million square feet, if it occupies all of the expected space. The estimated square footage would fit 25,826 employees according to the rough industry standard of 150 square feet per employee, although technology companies often use as few as 100 square feet per employee.

Amazon would become Bellevue’s largest employer if even half of the company’s real estate plans are realized.

T-Mobile’s is likely Bellevue’s current largest employer. The company had 6,200 employees in Bellevue’s Factoria neighborhood in November. T-Mobile declined to share how many employees the company expects to have if its bid to take over Sprint is approved.

Microsoft also has a large presence in Bellevue. Microsoft has yet to respond to an inquiry about its headcount in Bellevue.

Amazon last week withdrew plans for a 25,000-person office in Long Island City, New York due to opposition from some politicians there. The office was to be part of Amazon’s second headquarters location along with northern Virginia. Amazon said will not reopen the search and intends to hire across its 17 offices.

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