Amazon Inc stated that it has put a pause on plans for a new office building in Seattle, the company said it might sub-lease rather than occupying another tower downtown, the decision came after pending a city council vote on a proposed tax on top businesses.
The decision earlier created more hopes among public having new opportunities, jobs at Amazon but the new decision puts a question mark on all those promises made by the retail giant.
Amazon has halted the construction planning on our Block 18 project in downtown Seattle; the company is evaluating options to sub-lease all space in our recently leased Rainer Square building, Said Amazon’s Vice President Drew Herdener in a statement amid “pending outcome of the head tax vote by the City Council.”
The council is scheduled to vote on the proposal May 14. It seems Amazon already have smelled the outcome and announced the decision what it will do if the proposed tax is implemented.
Mayor Jenny Durkan said in a statement on Wednesday, “I am really concerned about the impact of Amazon’s decision, it will affect a large number of jobs.” Seattle Times quoted. However, Durkan’s office was not immediately available for the comment.
Amazon has contributed much in Seattle’s South Lake Union district by transforming warehouses, parking lots into offices, towers, and expensive eateries while accommodating highly paid tech workers. The growth of the district contributed to economic boom and rising rents.
Communities across North America hoped to get Amazon making the similar investment in their locale. Amazon previously said it will spend more than $5 billion and create more than 50,000 jobs in the city which it chooses for its second headquarters, to be announced this year.
But the plans are changing over the proposed tax; Seattle City Council in April proposed a tax plan which might jolt the city’s 500 top businesses. According to the proposal, an employee hours tax transitioning to the payroll tax in 2021 would collect $75 million per year for Seattle, most of the revenue collected would go into building affordable housing in Seattle. However, the desired outcome of the proposal is unclear.
Seattle has been working hard for the development of affordable housing and homeless services programs since 2013. The city has raised the budget to $63 million per year according to the report.