Amazon.com Inc., (Nasdaq AMZN), plans to move 2,000 employees out of Seattle to two new towers in downtown Bellevue by the end the year. The company confirmed this to the Business Journal.
Seattle's tech giant is expected to open West Main Tower 1 as well as the 555 Tower during the fourth quarter. Amazon's construction halt in Bellevue was spared both office towers last year. Amazon could have over 12,000 employees in Bellevue when they open.
Business Journal received an email from Amazon stating that the number of employees in Seattle is currently over 55,000 and Bellevue was over 10,000 last fiscal year.
Amazon's numbers have been largely the same for the last year, despite its fluctuating headcount. This is due to the hiring freeze, as well as the biggest layoffs ever in the history of the company, which began in November and continued until late April.
At least 2,300 out of 27,000 affected employees were located in the Puget Sound area. At least 448 of those layoffs were in Bellevue.
The company did not disclose from which Seattle offices 2,000 new Bellevue workers would be coming.
Amazon confirmed that it will be closing two of its offices in Seattle. Amazon announced early in the Covid-19 epidemic that it would not extend its lease on 2201 Westlake Ave. In January, Amazon confirmed that it would be leaving the West 8th Tower at 2001 Eighth Ave. and moving approximately 2,000 employees into offices in other parts of the area.
In addition, the company has not made any plans to send its employees back to their office in the former Macy's Building in downtown Seattle. The reason given is that public safety continues to be a concern. The building is situated on Third Avenue, a historically troubled street.
Amazon is also subleasing its 140,000-square foot space in Seattle’s Met Park North Building.
Amazon is currently in the process of opening its campus to its employees. Amazon's offices were open during the pandemic but employees are expected to return at least three times a week beginning May 1.
This return-to office date has become a more flexible milestone for Seattle's recovery. Employees are not expected to return until their offices are "ready." Amazon's Seattle offices will have a range of readiness dates, ranging between May 2 and mid-June. This was revealed in an internal guideline seen by the Business Journal.