Amazon’s top real estate executive said the employment growth the company had planned for New York is not slated for Bellevue.
Speculation has swirled in recent weeks over Amazon’s local growth plans in the wake of its decision to abandon a major campus planned for Long Island City as part of its “HQ2” expansion, and confirmation that it will not occupy a new office building under construction in downtown Seattle.
The company on Valentine’s Day said it would not go forward with the plan to hire as many as 25,000 people in New York over the next decade, after encountering a hostile response from local politicians and labor groups opposed to some $3 billion in tax incentives offered to lure the company.
Amazon last summer signed a second long-term lease in Bellevue, giving the company enough space in the city east of Seattle for about 4,500 people. While Amazon has been mum about its Bellevue plans, the Puget Sound Business Journal and GeekWire reported in February on the company’s growing real estate appetite in that city. Some real estate sources have seen Bellevue as a possible spillover location for the erstwhile New York HQ2.
Asked whether he expected to see any of the planned New York City employment land in Seattle or Bellevue, John Schoettler, Amazon’s vice president of global real estate and facilities, said: “No. No. The plans that we have for Bellevue and all of that was completely separate from HQ2, so it’s not a result of that,” Schoettler said in an interview with The Seattle Times.
Schoettler, who has orchestrated Amazon’s dramatic real estate expansion since 2001, said the job growth planned for New York will be dispersed across “about 17 other cities throughout the Americas.”
That’s essentially what the company has said since the day it announced the end of its New York plan.
In Seattle, Amazon has about 12 million square feet of space and an additional 2 million under construction.