- Amazon announced in a blog post Thursday that it plans to hire 15,000 employees in Bellevue, a suburb near its Seattle headquarters.
- The company currently employs around 2,000 people in Bellevue, meaning the expansion would grow its total presence there more than eightfold.
- Amazon has purchased land in Bellevue where it’s looking to build a 43-story building that could hold more than 4,000 additional employees.
- The announcement comes as the tech giant has faced resistance from some cities as it looks to open new offices.
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Amazon is looking to drastically expand its presence in a suburb outside its hometown of Seattle. In a blog post Thursday, the company announced plans to create 15,000 additional jobs in Bellevue, a city where it currently employs just over 2,000.
The new jobs will be spread across several Amazon divisions, including operations, devices, Amazon Web Services, and Project Kuiper, the company’s internet satellite initiative, a spokesperson told Business Insider. Currently, Amazon lists around 700 open positions in Bellevue, while its Seattle office has more than 10,000 positions available.
Last summer, Amazon purchased land in Bellevue where it’s looking to to build a 43-story office tower that the Seattle Times estimated could hold approximately 4,200 employees. The Seattle Times also reported that Amazon has secured at least 2.8 billion square feet in real estate in Bellevue as it looks to grow its footprint. The company opened its first office building there in 2017.
Amazon called Bellevue, where CEO Jeff Bezos originally founded the company in 1994, “a growing, business-friendly city with great amenities, a high quality of life, and a fantastic talent pool.”
The announcement also said Amazon plans to design its Bellevue offices with sustainability and access to public transportation in mind.
In recent years, Amazon’s expansions have not always been met with open arms by cities. That includes Seattle, where the City Council enacted a tax on large companies aimed at tackling homelessness in 2018, though it quickly repealed the law (Amazon, along with Microsoft and other major Seattle-based companies, recently backed a newer version of the hotly debated “head tax”). Amazon has also pushed back, spending $US1.5 million last year in an unsuccessful bid to unseat Councilmember Kshama Sawant, a frequent critic of the company.
In late 2017, the company began a highly publicized search for a new US headquarters, dubbed HQ2, which many criticised for pitting cities against one another as they offered billions of dollars in tax incentives in an effort to attract the tech giant.
The company eventually settled on one location in a Virginia suburb near Washington, DC, and another in New York City. However, the company ultimately backed out of plans ofr the latter after facing intense backlash from local officials and residents.