Amazon Is Changing The Way Seattle Looks

Senior Contributor
08.29.13 5 Comments
Amazon has balls, that Seattle residents don't have to cover.

Amazon has balls, that Seattle residents don’t have to cover.

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!

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