For only the second time since Amazon came to downtown Seattle, the retailer is allowing a major office lease to expire.
Amazon will move workers out of its offices in Port 99 on Eighth Avenue when the lease expires next April, a company spokesperson said Thursday. Amazon will move about 2,000 employees into office spaces across its Puget Sound headquarters.
The news comes amid a wave of layoffs at the tech and e-commerce giant that will affect 18,000 workers companywide and 2,300 around Puget Sound.
The decision to let the lease expire is not related to the layoffs, the spokesperson said. Rather it is a response to the ongoing shift to remote and hybrid work after the COVID-19 pandemic first sent many people home for work.
Since last summer, the number of office workers present in downtown Seattle has averaged 42% of pre-pandemic levels, according to cellphone tracking data posted by the Downtown Seattle Association.
Facebook plans to sublease its offices in two locations: the six-story Arbor Block 333, on Eighth Avenue North in downtown Seattle, and the 11-story Block 6 of the Spring District in Bellevue. Microsoft won’t renew its lease at the 26-story City Center Plaza in Bellevue when that lease ends in June 2024.