Amazon abandons plan to occupy huge Seattle office building

SEATTLE (AP) — Amazon is abandoning a prominent downtown Seattle office project 10 months after it threatened to do so if the city imposed a new business tax.

The Seattle Times reports that while the Seattle City Council eventually reversed itself on the tax that would have raised money for affordable housing, Amazon confirmed Wednesday it will not occupy the space it leased in the Rainier Square tower under construction.

In a statement, Amazon said it is always evaluating its space requirements and intends to sublease Rainier Square based on current plans. Amazon added that the company has more than 9,000 open jobs in Seattle, and that “it will continue to evaluate future growth.”

The Rainier Square lease provides room for at least 3,500 employees. Scheduled to open next year, the $570 million Rainier Square tower project will be the second-tallest building in the Pacific Northwest, at 58 stories.