Amazon has been changing retail and publishing slowly, but surely. It’s poised to wipe the big-box store off the face of the map with a network of smaller fulfillment centers and same-day delivery. And apparently, that kind of growth translates out to not needing tax breaks and essentially rebuilding a section of Seattle.
Amazon seems to have a policy of saying “Eh, we don’t care about tax breaks. Let’s just build stuff.” And it’s rapidly changing Seattle and possibly redefining urban living. Namely, it’s taking a bunch of warehouses and filling them with workers:
The company already has about 15,000 employees in Seattle, mostly highly paid engineers, managers and programmers, out of a global work force of about 97,000, according to people familiar with its head count who were not authorized to discuss a figure that the company does not share publicly. The new towers have a capacity for 12,000, giving the company room for nearly 30,000 workers in Seattle, which has a population of 635,000.
OK, so they will be building gigantic testicles of steel and glass smack in the middle of Seattle, but basically Seattle gets a lot of tax revenue, a whole bunch of smart, well-paid citizens, and a crappy district turned into a chic place to live and work, so they’re not complaining. Amazon could probably build a skyscraper at the base of those nards with a string of lights throbbing from the base to the tip and Seattle wouldn’t complain.
Amid tax breaks for Facebook and other tech annoyances, it’s good to see a company actually bothering to give back to the place where it exists instead of trying to extort a tax break. Now, about covering those balls with something to protect the glass. Perhaps a natural fur shield!