Amazon’s Slow Retreat From Seattle

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Long before Amazon erected gleaming glass domes in downtown Seattle—and before Amazon was even named Amazon—Bellevue, Washington, was the site of the company’s headquarters. Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder and CEO, lived in the small King County city, and, in typical tech-leader fashion, laid the groundwork for what would become the largest e-commerce company in the world right there in his garage.

After its 1994 launch, Amazon got out of the garage quickly, moving across the lake to fill 630,000 square feet of office space in Seattle by 2001. Since then, the company has rapidly expanded downtown, growing to occupy 19 percent of all prime Seattle office space, according to a 2017 analysis by the Seattle Times. Today, according to company figures, its campus spans 8.1 million square feet.

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