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August 02, 2016

Amazon may soon occupy enough Seattle office space to fill 8 Columbia Towers

Puget Sound Business Journal

Marc Stiles

Two years ago, Amazon's real estate director said the company would have 10 million square feet of office space in Seattle by 2019.

Now there's a report that the number has grown by 20 percent, with the amount of space increasing to 12 million square feet by 2022 - the equivalent of nearly eight Columbia Center towers. Those are the numbers that tech news site Geekwire recently reported. Amazon officials declined to comment to the Puget Sound Business Journal Monday.

Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) has gone from operating in founder and CEO Jeff Bezos' garage in Bellevue to having 8.5 million square feet, "and more is coming," company real estate director John Schoettler said last month. Later this year, for instance, the company is scheduled to start construction of the third of three towers that Amazon is developing in the Denny Triangle. Meanwhile, construction continues on some South Lake Union buildings that the company has agreed to lease.

Twelve million square feet equals around a third of the all existing office space downtown, around Lake Union and in the Denny Triangle, and it's a remarkable 42 percent of the best-in-class space in these areas.

By comparison, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) has 14.7 million square feet off office space across the Puget Sound region. That is equal to 16 percent of all classes of existing office space in the region, and 29 percent of the best-in-class space.

Counting all the space that Amazon is in now and all the space that is being built or planned for the company, Amazon has a of more than total 9.3 million square feet, according to Seattle real estate company Kidder Mathews. Add to this two buildings that the company is planning to develop on a fourth Denny Triangle block where the Hurricane Cafe operated at Bell Street and Seventh Avenue, and Amazon will have nearly 10.2 million square feet.

That leaves the company 1.8 million shy of 12 million square feet, though the company has options on more Denny Triangle land, where the company could build additional offices. Amazon has the right of first offer to buy the irregularly shaped block where the Loyal Inn operates at 2301 Eighth Ave., and kitty-corner to the southwest is another block that Amazon has an option to buy. Currently on the west side of that block is the Denny Building, a 12-story, 49-year-old office.

"Who knows how much they decide to build there, if anything at all," said Jeff Huntington, a broker with Kidder Mathews.

City records show no construction permit activity by on either of the blocks where the Denny Building and Loyal Inn are located.

For the full story, go to Puget Sound Business Journal.

© 2016 American City Business Journals. All rights reserved.

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