JASON RANTZ

Rantz: Amazon takes another major step to abandon Seattle

Sep 9, 2020, 7:06 PM | Updated: Sep 10, 2020, 12:32 pm
amazon leaves seattle...
The Seattle Amazon campus is seen on April 30, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)

Tech giant Amazon is taking additional steps to abandon Seattle, choosing not to renew its lease for the top eight floors of an office building in South Lake Union. The space reportedly totals over 180,000 square feet.

An Amazon source tells the Jason Rantz Show of the decision to abandon the space at 2201 Westlake. (Update: Amazon confirms to the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH that they are leaving this property in December of this year.)

Citing three sources, the Puget Sound Business Journal first confirmed the details.

Rumors have swirled that moves like this were going to happen, but few predicted it would happen this quickly. And, a source suggests more actions by Amazon may happen in the coming months.

Rantz: Coronavirus scare foreshadows impacts if Amazon leaves Seattle

Amazon’s slow farewell to Seattle

Amazon, which leases over six million square feet of office space in Seattle, recently announced another significant move. In addition to the 15,000 previously announced jobs, Amazon said it will be bringing another 10,000 jobs to Bellevue. These aren’t just new jobs. An Amazon source say the plan includes moving Seattle jobs to Bellevue.

Amazon is also expanding its office footprint in Bellevue. Amazon owns or leases nearly five million square feet of office space in the city, with the new additions of the 42-story 555 Tower and the three 16- to 17-story towers in the West Main block.

Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner called that move “a remarkable indictment of our local legislature,” in an interview with KIRO Radio’s Dave Ross.

Just weeks ago, Amazon polled employees about alternative cities for future growth.

Amazon doesn’t normally make big PR pushes against Seattle when making these moves. Indeed, the company often downplays them. But sources routinely explain these are direct responses to the council.

This is the least shocking business news

The news doesn’t come as a shock.

The Seattle City Council renewed their effort to target Amazon for onerous, vindictive, and a jobs-punishing payroll tax. They passed Seattle City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda’s dubiously titled “JumpStart Seattle” legislation. Mosqueda, a future mayoral hopeful, promised her tax would help jump start the local economy. But it’s doing the opposite.

Businesses large and small warned the council of this move. But Mosqueda and the council ignored the pleas of businesses, most of which were already hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

And where socialist Kshama Sawant has failed, Mosqueda may succeed: running Amazon out of town. While it may delight her base of fringe progressives and socialists, if you don’t have Amazon to tax, it’s unclear where this out-of-control council will find the funds for their ideologically-driven programs.

Rantz: Seattle councilmember defends ‘kill yourselves’ threat to cops at protest

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow @JasonRantz on Twitter and Instagram or like me on Facebook

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Rantz: Amazon takes another major step to abandon Seattle