Seattle-based Amazon made big news on the Eastside when it announced in a September blog that it plans to add 10,000 more jobs in Bellevue in the next few years.
That will bring to about 25,000 the number of Amazonians in the city by around 2025, after the company in February announced it would create about 15,000 jobs in Bellevue over the next few years, in part by moving its entire worldwide operations division (about 10,000 jobs) from Seattle.
Those 25,000 employees would fill more than a third of Husky Stadium. It’s an addition Bellevue Mayor Lynne Robinson is cheering.
“I think any commitment of that many jobs is a real positive for our region, and Amazon is showing itself to be a really good community partner,” Robinson said. “These are high-paying jobs, and their contributions to our human services in the region has just been amazing.”
Amazon adds to a tech-based city that already hosts names like Microsoft, T-Mobile, Concur, and Facebook, the latter of which made its own splash in September with word it’s further expanding in Bellevue by buying REI’s never-used headquarters building in the Spring District. It appears Bellevue’s on a tech roll.
“I think that this is the result of long-range planning that started well before I was on the council,” Robinson said.
Attractive live, work, and play ingredients include upzoning downtown five years ago; bringing light rail through town; and funding pedestrian-bike paths, parks, and other infrastructure. The planned “Grand Connection” — along Northeast Sixth Street from Meydenbauer Bay Park through downtown, over I-405 to the Eastrail bike-pedestrian path — a pedestrian-friendly thoroughfare running east and west through the city, is part of that appeal. One of Amazon’s new downtown buildings will be a component of it.
“You can’t do that without having partnerships with companies like this, and this is a gift to the entire community,” Robinson said. “I mean, it’s going to feel like the Bellevue Arts Fair every day on that Grand Connection — there’s going to be art, there’ll be nature, there’ll be music, there’ll be restaurants, and it’s just going to be a marvelous experience.”
John Schoettler, Amazon’s vice president of global real estate and facilities, who wrote the blog announcing the additional employees, called Bellevue “a growing, business-friendly community with great amenities, a high quality of life, and a fantastic talent pool.”