The company’s latest plan is a big test of the thesis that coastal cities are capped out.
Chicago has been looking for a transformational event, and this could be it.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Amazon is seeking bids for a second headquarters location that will be equal in size to its current Seattle base. It would ultimately employ 50,000 people in 8 million square feet of office space at an average salary of over $100,000.
This is going to be the feeding frenzy of the century.
This seems to suggest that Amazon thinks it is about capped out in Seattle, which the Seattle Times recently labeled “America’s biggest company town.” The company has over 8 million square feet of office space and accounts for nearly 20 percent of the city’s total office space. The next biggest footprint of any user in any city is Citi, with only about 3.7 million square feet in New York. (Interestingly, Columbus, Ohio is in second place when it comes to being dominated by a single office user; Nationwide Insurance has 16 percent of the total market. It looks like these may be city, not regional totals).
The impact of Amazon on Seattle has been huge. The pressure that Amazon growth has put on things like housing availability and pricing is tough to measure, but surely huge. Amazon appears to have concluded that the city can’t take anymore.