Online mega-company Amazon may make a new home in lower Queen Anne at a vacant office on Elliott Avenue West.
Amazon has made its home in Seattle’s tech-mecca, South Lake Union and hasn’t come forward about the move yet, but multiple media outlets have announced the company is in negotiations to lease the space at 635 Elliott Ave. W.
The property was built in 2010 and is LEED Gold-certified, according to the Martin Selig real estate website. It has 195,935 square feet of rentable space, with 45,460 square feet per floor. There is space for 600 cars to park below the building. (Representatives from Selig’s officer were not available for comment as of press time.)
Marty Kaplan, chair of the Land Use Review Committee (LURC) for the Queen Anne Community Council, said he only knows what’s been reported in the papers.
“I guess it surprises me only when one considers they have a campus and are building new buildings close to their campus, and this is 1.5 miles away,” he said. “If they’re thinking about moving, there must be good reason.”
The more, the merrier
Elliott Avenue is characterized by the waterfront, Kaplan said, referring to the Myrtle Edwards Park and Elliott Bay. On one side of the street, there are the giant offices; on the other side, there are small buildings with chains stores and mom-and-pop shops. It’s an eclectic mix of buildings, he said.
As time has gone on, the area has changed. There’s been an effort to encourage “new and appropriate development there,” he said.
The area would have a different feel for the Amazon staff, Kaplan said, citing South Lake Union’s active nightlife and restaurant scene. The transition may be difficult for the employees who have fewer options for lunch or places to hang out, he said.
“My hunch is many people might migrate back to South Lake Union to familiar haunts,” he said.
There would obviously be more traffic, Kaplan said, saying that with a building that large, there could be big staff. But the building does have underground parking and is served by transit and bike paths.
“There’s some real positives that don’t necessarily mean Elliott’s going to become any more crowded,” Kaplan said. “It’s good to have people in our neighborhood and community. I think it’s positive to have people occupying buildings that are built and leverage infrastructure and housing. When you get more people in an area, you get more demand for amenities. I think that’s a good thing.”
Dan Heimdahl, owner of Taylor Brake Services (630 Elliott Ave. W.), is directly across the street from the proposed Amazon building. He’s happy to have new neighbors and hopes the increased traffic and population will bring business.
“I think it’s great,” Heimdahl said. “I have no problem with people coming in and filling out an office building.”
A sign of progress
Heimdahl has been owned Taylor Brakes since 1991, but it’s been in that area since ‘84 and in business since ‘36. Over the last two decades, Heimdahl has seen the Elliott area change. It’s gone through it’s own ups and downs, just like the economy has.
“A lot of newer office buildings have gone up, and old-time businesses have been shoved out of the way. But in some manner, that’s just progress.”
Seth Emtage, co-owner of Queen Anne Upholstery & Refinishing (904 Elliott Ave. W.), has been in the area since the early ‘80s. He’d heard from a real estate agent that Amazon might move into the building. There’s been a lot of good improvement to the area, with more businesses coming in, Emtage said, almost as if Downtown Seattle is creeping north.
He thinks it’s great that Amazon might take over the building, especially because it’s been vacant for a while. Queen Anne Upholstery caters to a higher-end clientele, Emtage said, so he thinks the new neighbors might appreciate the store’s services.
“We’d like to welcome them to the neighborhood,” he said.
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