Amazon turns Seattle into US's biggest company town: report

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Seattle-based ecommerce giant Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) controls 8.1 million square feet, or nearly 19% of the city’s prime office space – more than any company controls in any other U.S. city, according to a report on Wednesday.

A thorough Seattle Times analysis of Amazon’s footprint found CEO Jeff Bezos’ company has as much real estate as the city’s next 43 largest corporate inhabitants, with plans to expand to more than 12 million square feet of office space by 2022. In addition, Amazon has more than twice as much real estate in Seattle in terms of major city office space as its nearest competitor, Citi, which has more than 3.6 million square feet in New York City.

Amazon has roughly 40,000 employees in Seattle and will have enough office space to house in excess of 55,000 employees in the city by 2020, according to the newspaper, which added that the company’s presence has contributed to higher local wages, increased retail spending and lower unemployment.

Company representatives did not immediately respond for a request for additional comment.

Amazon shares are up more than 25% since January. Aside from its booming ecommerce and cloud-computing business, Amazon received federal and shareholder approval this week for its planned $13.7 billion deal to acquire Whole Foods. The company’s largest-ever acquisition, which is expected to close in late 2017, will significantly enhance its presence in the grocery industry.