Amazon plans to move Worldwide Operations to Bellevue by 2023, citing 'business-friendly environment'

BELLEVUE - Amazon plans to move its Seattle-based Worldwide Operations to Bellevue by 2023.

The company said in a statement:

“We opened our first office building in Bellevue in 2017. It’s a city with great amenities, a high-quality of life for our employees, and fantastic talent – and it’s recognized for its business-friendly environment. We look forward to continue growing our presence in Bellevue and bring more jobs to the city.”

Bellevue Mayor John Chelminiak welcomes the move.

“I think we’ve taken an approach in Bellevue to run a really great city and create a really great community and that’s a strong draw to business and to residents," said Chelminiak. "We’re excited by today’s announcement that Amazon plans to expand its presence in Bellevue. As a community we’ve worked hard to anticipate this type of positive growth downtown, and Amazon is a natural fit. It’s also critical that these types of jobs stay in the region. Bellevue values our business community and we look forward to working with the company as their transition progresses. Welcome home, Amazon!”

In recent years, the city of Bellevue has welcomed Facebook, Google and Microsoft to the city, which is also home to many start-up companies.

“Bellevue has evolved over the years into a desirable place where companies, from startup to major industry leaders such as Amazon, want to be. Our staff approaches the business community as important partners, and we’re eager to work with Amazon and its employees to make its announced expansion to the Eastside a success," said City Manager Brad Miyake.

“It’s always nice for more jobs in Washington,” said Jordan Breisacher who lives and works in Bellevue.

He says Bellevue is already an expensive place to live and a move by Amazon to the area likely won’t change housing prices much.

“I think it’s kind of a double-edged sword, if they come in, everything is going to be more expensive, but Seattle is already comparative to Bellevue prices so it’s not going to be too much different,” he added.

But others, like one woman, who didn’t give out her name, said there is an upside and a downside with Amazon’s planned move.

“I think it’s probably going to saturate Bellevue with a lot of foreign people, and that’s not a bad thing. I think it would bring some much-needed culture into Bellevue. Probably worsen the traffic and up the housing market, all that’s stuff that’s not the best,” she said.

Chelminiak says with Expedia moving out of Bellevue to Seattle, Amazon will be moving into that building along with a few others nearby.

“The number of jobs is going to be a net gain in Bellevue by about 2,500 jobs,” said Chelminiak. He added that he sees a benefit in keeping those jobs within the Puget Sound region.

“It’s a good news story for Bellevue, it’s a good news story in Seattle and it’s a good news story for the region because those jobs are staying here,” said Chelminiak.

He says the city has been careful planning for growth but it is happening at a quicker rate than anticipated.

“We’ve planned for that growth, but that is coming a bit more rapidly than we thought. So that’s something the city needs to stay on top of so we don’t fall behind when the growth comes,” he said.