Amazon’s Seattle Expansion Plans Reveal Three New Office Towers and Much More!

Amazon revealed plans for its Seattle headquarters last night, including the construction of 3.3 million square feet of office space over the next eight years.

The blueprints would more than double Amazon’s current footprint in Seattle, and hints at the rapid corporate-level expansion the e-commerce company anticipates over the next decade.

Last month, Amazon purchased three contiguous blocks in downtown Seattle. Terms of the sale were not disclosed, but the multimillion dollar — maybe billion-dollar — deal will represent Amazon’s first significant land purchase, once it closes.

Last night, Amazon’s architects presented plans to Seattle’s review board, laying out the company’s vision for an urban campus, complete with three 37-floor office towers, an auditorium, retail space and a few shorter, six-story buildings, reports Eric Pryne, a reporter at the Seattle Times, who attended the meeting.

A 36-page report detailing all the different layouts and scenarios can be found on the city’s Web site here. An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment on its plans, and apparently no company spokesperson spoke at last night’s meeting.

The plans are fairly shocking, given the company’s rapid growth over the past few years. Clearly, the company’s leader Jeff Bezos has a lot more surprises in store that may push the company beyond its core online retail and digital businesses,  including the Kindle.

At the end of the year, Amazon had 56,200 employees, up 67 percent year over year. Most of the hiring occurred in operations and customer service, including 17 new fulfillment centers.

It’s not clear how many employees Amazon has in its Seattle headquarters, but it already leases about 2.7 million square feet, including 1.7 million square feet in the so-called South Lake Union neighborhood, which has recently been revitalized by Seattle tech leader Paul Allen, and sits just outside the downtown core.

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— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google