February 16, 2012

Amazon is growing really really fast


Amazon.com‘s earnings may be down, as everyone’s been talking about lately, but the company is nonetheless ”in talks to buy land next to its Seattle headquarters that the company may use for expansion,” reports a Businessweek story that cites anonymous sources.

The report includes some interesting stats that make clear why Amazon needs more room: “Amazon employed about 56,200 people, including part-time workers, as of Dec. 31, up from 20,700 employees at the end of 2008 and 7,500 a decade ago … according to company filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.”

The phenomenal growth has inspired the company to buy part of a 12.5 acre plot of land that’s for sale by a neighboring business complex, ”located just north of Seattle’s central business district and immediately south of South Lake Union, the neighborhood where Amazon moved its headquarters in 2010.”

The report also observes that buying, rather than leasing, may indicate Amazon is settling into its new location and intending to build a “campus,” like that of one of Seattle’s other famous resident businesses.

“We saw the same thing with Microsoft 20 years ago,” says Greg Johnson, president of Wright Runstad & Co., the company that developed Microsoft’s campus in nearby Redmond. “Once you know this is your hometown, it starts to make more sense to own.”


Dennis Johnson is the founder of MobyLives, and the co-founder and co-publisher of Melville House.