Amazon.com just keeps growing in Seattle.
Paul Allen’s Vulcan Real Estate announced today Amazon is leasing two new buildings that Vulcan will build in South Lake Union, near Mercer Street.
The new buildings will give Amazon another 614,000 square feet of space between downtown Seattle and Lake Union, where it has leased or purchased most of the office buildings developed by Vulcan and others in a remarkable building spree over the last decade.
Amazon’s now going to straddle both sides of Westlake Avenue. Its main headquarters are now on the east side of the arterial and the new Vulcan buildings will be built on the west side. That’s all in addition to the new headquarters campus that Amazon is now building for itself closer to downtown.
Vulcan said the new 12-story buildings will cost $266 million to develop. They’ll be located along Ninth Avenue between Harrison and Republican streets. Construction will begin in January and Amazon may start occupying them in late 2015. they total 622,234 square feet, including 8,525 feet of retail space and 871 parking space.
Amazon already occupies more than 2.7 million square feet of offices in the neighborhood, including 1.8 million feet in buildings that it bought last year from Vulcan for $1.16 billion.
The new buildings follow moves by the city of Seattle to loosen building restrictions and allow even larger buildings in the area after years of lobbying by Allen’s investment company.
Allen – who co-founded Microsoft and is now the 47th richest person in the world, worth $15.4 billion according to Bloomberg – is paying the city $4.85 million in return for permission to build larger structures. Vulcan’s press release today noted that the project also includes bicycle amenities such as public racks.
Called Amazon Phases VII and VIII, the new buildings will be 12 stories tall and adjacent to another Amazon building now under construction at the corner of Mercer and Westlake Avenue.
Here are renderings provided by Vulcan:
Here’s a picture I took today of work on the Amazon building coming to the corner of Westlake and Mercer: