Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan seems unfazed by news that Amazon is planning to move thousands of jobs to Bellevue, Wash.
On Wednesday, GeekWire reported that Amazon is moving its Seattle-based global operations team to nearby Bellevue in a major organizational shift and symbolic gesture. Durkan was asked about the report in an interview with Seattle radio station KUOW.
"That's good news for the region," she said. "The more jobs we have in the region and the more it is spread, the better it is for all of us. We have a housing crisis, not just in Seattle, but everywhere. Talent begins talent and I think it's a good thing for Seattle , a good thing for Bellevue. "
Amazon will start moving employees this month and expect the entire team to be in Bellevue by 2023.
" I & # 39; I'm thrilled to share the news about that we are planning to relocate worldwide operations to Bellevue this year, "wrote Dave Clark, senior vice president of worldwide operations, in a mail to his employees sent Wednesday and obtained by GeekWire. "This move allows space to grow while the campus maintains that we have come to love South Lake Union."
The announcement comes as tensions rise between Amazon and its hometown. The enmity reached a boiling point last year when Seattle officials and activists pushed a tax on large corporations to fund affordable housing, which on several occasions drew the "Tax Amazon" sign on the corporate campus. The tax consisted and was quickly abolished as opposed to business.
In connection with the KUOW interview on Wednesday, host Bill Radke Durkan asked, "Did you help drive these Amazon employees away by supporting the main tax?"
In response, she suggested that Bellevue be the new site for Amazon's planned New York "HQ2", a project that the company withdrew in January in response to vocal opposition from activists and officials.
"No, we helped get a branch office in Bellevue instead of New York," Durkan said.
In fact, Amazon is planning to distribute the 25,000 jobs it had planned to bring to New York across its other offices. Most of the new jobs in Bellevue will be existing Amazon employees currently working in Seattle. Amazon has planned this move for a year before the New York HQ2 drama unfolds according to sources familiar with the plans.