Why Amazon’s Bellevue Plans Benefit Seattle

Don’t misread company’s Eastside focus
Updated: Wed, 07/03/2019 - 19:39
 
 
  • Don’t misread company’s Eastside focus

What’s good for Bellevue is good for Seattle. What’s good for Seattle is good for Kent.

You get the point. Whenever a company moves to or expands in a particular city in the greater Puget Sound region, the entire area wins.

There’s been a lot of hand-wringing over Amazon’s decision to focus its growth in the region in Bellevue rather than Seattle. The world’s largest online retailer is planning to develop a 43-story office tower in Bellevue that could have 1 million square feet of space for thousands of employees.

Sure, Amazon and the city of Seattle aren’t the best of friends. Last year’s head tax proposal reopened old wounds and, more recently, Amazon pulled out of its Rainier Square project in the heart of downtown Seattle.

That said, the world's largest online retailer isn’t close to abandoning the city. Though Amazon recently said it would move thousands of employees in its worldwide operating division to Bellevue, it still employs about 45,000 in Seattle. Amazon's growing presence in Bellevue will benefit cities across the region, not merely one in which it has an office or warehouse.

Perhaps Brian McGowan, CEO of economic development agency Greater Seattle Partners, sums it up best: “Once a company says it wants to be in the region, jurisdictions and counties should compete for it. Greater Seattle Partners is agnostic about where it goes.”

It’s not unusual for cities to compete for companies. They want tax dollars. It’s important, though, to keep it in perspective. Ultimately, the Puget Sound region is one market and one economy. 

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