Amazon Adds to Seattle’s Skyline

The following post comes courtesy of Global Site Plans' The Grid. CNU and Global Site Plans recently teamed up to syndicate Grid content, as its contingent of writers presents a view on the opportunities and issues of urbanization all across the world. CNU will carry select posts from the Grid direct on the CNU Salons.

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 Rendering of Amazon's New Seattle Headquarters

How many high-tech corporations choose to locate their headquarters downtown? Very few. Often times we see corporate giants build their headquarters outside of city centers. Rather than following this trend and building a suburban campus, Amazon.com has decided to locate its headquarters in the South Lake Union Neighborhood of Seattle, Washington.

The three-block urban design proposal will connect the South Lake Union neighborhood to the downtown retail core. The three new 37-story office towers will anchor the smaller, mixed-use buildings (also proposed on the block). The plans will integrate commercial space and public open space with the office space, a design decision that reinforces the company’s commitment to be less like a suburban corporate campus. Amazon also intends to increase public transit in the area by subsidizing more frequent service for the South Lake Union streetcar, which is within walking distance to the proposed complex.

 

Rendering of Amazon's New Seattle Headquarters

What are the benefits of locating downtown rather than in the suburbs?

 

  • It follows smart growth principles;

  • It builds upon the city’s existing infrastructure through infill development;

  • It links into an existing transit network;

  • It connects the company’s employees to downtown services and amenities; and

  • It is an investment in the city’s downtown economy.

Amazon does not intend to build a corporate campus headquarters, like many of its competitors in the region. It will build on an urban site that currently hosts expansive parking lots, in order to link a walkable urban neighborhood to the city’s central business district.

Do you think high-tech corporate giants will follow Amazon’s lead to build downtown?

To read the original post, written by Amanda Bosse, visit Global Site Plans.

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