Amazon says it will create 15,000 jobs in Bellevue, Washington, and build its biggest tower ever

Key Points
  • Amazon will hire more than 15,000 people in the Seattle suburb of Bellevue.
  • The company plans to build a 43-story tower in the city, its tallest yet, referred to as Bellevue 600.
  • It comes as Amazon has been growing its footprint around the country, including in New York, Virginia and Tennessee.
A render of Amazon's 43-story office tower in Bellevue. Construction is expected to be complete by 2024.

Amazon will hire more than 15,000 employees in the Seattle suburb of Bellevue, the company said Thursday. Many will work out of the new tower the company is building there.

Planning for the 43-story tower, its tallest yet, is currently underway. Amazon's plans for the proposed building, referred to as Bellevue 600, were unveiled last July. The building will have about 1 million square feet of office space and is expected to be completed by 2024.

Amazon said it expects to bring the 15,000 jobs to Bellevue over the next few years. More than 2,000 employees currently work in Bellevue, and the company has about 700 job openings in the city.

The company opened its first office building in Bellevue in 2017. The city is also where Amazon got its start. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos founded the company in 1994 out of a 1,540-square-foot house in West Bellevue.

City of Bellevue

Amazon, which is headquartered in nearby Seattle, has continued to expand there despite rising tensions with local officials. Last month, the Seattle City Council passed a bill that establishes new restrictions on corporate donations in local elections, which serves as a blow to Amazon, after it donated a record $1.5 million into Seattle's city council races in 2019. Additionally, Seattle city council member Kshama Sawant has recently reignited efforts to enact a "head tax" on the city's largest companies, such as Amazon, with the goal of using it to fight Seattle's housing crisis.

The company has been growing its overall headcount and footprint. In its annual filing submitted last week, Amazon disclosed that it now has 798,000 workers across the globe, which is a 23% increase from the year-ago period. On the company's fourth-quarter earnings call, Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky said some of the hires were delivery workers, as it builds out one-day and same-day delivery for Prime subscribers.

Amazon is also growing in New York, where it recently signed a deal to lease more than 335,000 square feet of office space in Hudson Yards and expects to hire more than 1,500 employees. The move comes after Amazon abandoned its efforts to build a second headquarters in New York's Long Island City neighborhood.

The company is also expanding operations in northern Virginia, where it's building its second headquarters, dubbed HQ2. So far, Amazon has hired 400 employees to work out of leased offices in Crystal City, Virginia. It also plans to bring 5,000 jobs to Nashville, Tennessee, where two new office towers will be built.

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