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 world-based operations team in Seattle 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 diversified, the better it is for all of us. We have a housing credit crisis, not just in Seattle, but everywhere. Talent starts talent and I think it's good for Seattle, a good one things for Bellevue. "
Amazon will begin moving employees this month and expects the entire team to be in Bellevue by 2023.
" I & # 39; I'm glad to share the news that we are planning to transfer Worldwide operations to Bellevue this year, "wrote Dave Clark, senior vice president of worldwide business, in an email to his employees sent Wednesday and retrieved by GeekWire. "This move provides space to grow, while maintaining the campuses that we have come to love around South Lake Union."
The announcement comes as the tensions rise between Amazon and its hometown. The hosting hit a boiling point last year when Seattle officials and activists pushed for a big business tax to fund affordable housing, which has repeatedly separated the "Tax Amazon" across the company's campus. The tax went over and was quickly revoked in contrast to business.
During the KUOW interview on Wednesday, the host asked Bill Radke Durkan: "Did you help drive the employees of the Amazon away by supporting the main tax?"
In response, she suggested that Bellevue be the new site of 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 reality, Amazon is planning to spread the 25,000 jobs it had planned to bring to New York at other offices. The majority of the new jobs in Bellevue will be existing Amazon employees who are currently working in Seattle. Amazon has planned this move for a year before the New York HQ2 drama evolved, according to sources familiar with the plans.