Amazon Catapults Development of SLU

Phase One of’s new corporate headquarters is completed and thousands of Amazon employees—and their dogs—are moving into SLU. “The landing of Amazon is catapulting the development of the neighborhood,” said Lorie Groth, SLU Community Council board member.

Amazon, founded in 1995, is a Fortune 500 company and a global leader in e-commerce. The internet retailer, which sells everything from books to electronics to tennis rackets to diamond jewelry, continues to grow its workforce despite a global economic downturn.

The first phase of Amazon’s headquarters includes four buildings totaling nearly 450,000 square feet.  Phase 1A is a full block consisting of three buildings bordered by Terry Ave N, Harrison Street, Republican Street and Boren Ave N.  Phase 1B includes one new building on the southwest corner of Terry Ave N and Mercer.

Phases 2-4 are currently under construction and Phase 5 is expected to break ground next Spring. The entire headquarters will include 11 buildings, plus the leased office space at 2201 Westlake – bringing the total Amazon footprint in SLU to 1.9 million square feet.

Upon completion in 2013, several thousand Amazon employees will be working at the unified location, according to Michele Glisson, Amazon spokesperson.  As Amazon transitions to the new campus, many of its Seattle employees are working in other buildings around the city.

“We are just getting started, and our teams are enjoying the opportunity to get to know our neighbors and experience SLU’s convenient access to amenities, public transit, open space and retail,” said Glisson.

Approximately 100,000 square feet of the project will be street level public amenities, including the Tom Douglas restaurants planned for the historic Terry Avenue Building.  This 1915 building—which has served as a truck factory, a cabinet warehouse, and a flooring distributor headquarters—is being used as a design model for the development.  Architect Peter Krech said in The Seattle Times, that the architectural design of Amazon’s Seattle headquarters “is really a modern interpretation of the warehouse.