Amazon reportedly pulls plans to expand into new Seattle skyscraper after abandoning HQ2 plans in NYC

Key Points
  • Amazon is scaling back its expansion in Seattle by seeking tenants for the 30 floors of office space it leased there, GeekWire reports.
  • The news comes just weeks after Amazon dropped expansion plans to New York's Long Island City for part of its "HQ2."
  • Amazon's future in Seattle has been uncertain. The company reportedly laid off employees there last year and has fought city officials on corporate taxes.
Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, speaks to a group of Amazon employees that are veterans during an Amazon Veterans Day celebration on Monday, November 12, 2018.
Leonard Ortiz | Digital First Media | Getty Images

Amazon is cutting back on its expansion plans in its hometown of Seattle, GeekWire reported Wednesday, two weeks after the company abandoned plans to build part of its second headquarters in New York's Long Island City.

Seattle-based GeekWire obtained a marketing flier that said Amazon is seeking tenants for all 30 floors of office space it has leased in what will be city's second-highest skyscraper. All of the space will be leased to other companies, GeekWire reported, citing the flier and conversations with commercial real estate agents.

The scale-back could signal more conservative expansion efforts for the online retailer, which laid off hundreds of area employees last year according to the Seattle Times. Seattle residents and officials have questioned Amazon's future in the city after the company persuaded local lawmakers to repeal a corporate tax by threatening to pull out of the Rainier Square location.

Amazon's hard line on Seattle tax policy echos its recent fight with local officials in New York. City Council members repeatedly pushed back on the nearly $3 billion in tax incentives the city and state had offered Amazon to move there. The company also faced scrutiny from trade union officials who hoped to get Amazon to cooperate with them.

Amazon has reportedly been eyeing space in nearby Bellevue, Washington, where the company is leasing over 1 million square feet of space. In the meantime, a Seattle real estate broker told GeekWire companies like Apple, Dropbox and Oracle were considering Amazon's Rainier Square space.

An Amazon spokesperson noted that the company still has big plans in Seattle.

"We are currently building two million square feet of office space in our South Lake Union campus in Seattle. We are always evaluating our space requirements and intend to sublease Rainier Square based on current plans. We have more than 9,000 open roles in Seattle and will continue to evaluate future growth."

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