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Tech Companies Expand in Seattle

hamilton-zanze April 22, 2015

Fast-growing tech companies such as Amazon and Apple are snapping up available office space in the Seattle/Puget Sound region. In Q1, 87% of available office space was leased to technology companies, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal.

The Seattle metro area is becoming a hub for cloud and e-commerce development, resulting in a large pool of local engineers. Uber, Best Buy, and Apple have opened Seattle offices in the past six months, and Facebook recently announced plans to grow its Seattle workforce to about 2,000 employees. These companies join other major tech players already established in the metro such as Amazon, Expedia, and Zulily.

Amazon’s presence in particular impacted the Seattle commercial real estate industry. Last year, the company owned 8% of the downtown office market inventory and ranked fifth in the nation in market penetration by a single tenant, according to JLL. The Seattle Times estimates Amazon currently occupies just over 4 million square feet of office space in the city, or about 13% of Downtown Seattle’s Class A office inventory.

Real estate experts estimate Amazon has about 20,000 employees in Seattle. The company has committed to an additional 10 million square feet of local office space, which could bring its Seattle workforce to about 50,000.

The rate at which the company has leased space in the city has had a significant effect on the overall vacancy rate and put upward pressure on rents. Local industry experts refer to this as the “Amazon effect.”

Read more at the Seattle Times and the Puget Sound Business Journal

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