Amazon.com, which already has long leases for 2 million square feet of office space in and around downtown Seattle, is on the brink of another big chunk.
Its aim this time: a Denny Triangle tower that was completed in 2009 and has remained nearly empty.
A contractor filed a permit application on Amazon’s behalf this week, for tenant improvements to floors 4 through 19 of the 36-story tower at 1918 8thAvenue.
Those 15 floors contain 300,000 square feet, according to the building’s website. All but the top few floors of the tower are available. The building’s owner, Schnitzer West, said last month that about 80 percent of the tower’s 660,000 square feet of office space remained unleased.
A Schnitzer spokeswoman said Wednesday that the firm does not discuss tenants. Amazon representatives did not respond to media requests for comments.
Amazon has kept growing despite the recession, and its appetite for office space in greater downtown is voracious.When the online retailer takes 1918 Eighth, it will become the largest office tenant in greater downtown, said Peter Truex, senior managing director at brokerage Colliers International’s.
“Amazon has become a key driver in the downtown office marketplace,” he said.
Last year Amazon began moving into an 11-building, 1.7 million-square-foot headquarters complex that Paul Allen’s Vulcan Real Estate began building for it in South Lake Union in 2007.
On top of the huge South Lake Union deal, Amazon also leased 180,000 square feet last year at Vulcan’s 2201 Westlake.
The 1918 Eighth tower, at Eighth Avenue and Virginia Street, is a few blocks south of Amazon’s other buildings, closer to the downtown core. The lease could make a large dent in downtown’s high office vacancy rate, now pegged in the high teens.
Amazon’s growth is good news for downtown, said Kate Joncas, president of the Downtown Seattle Association.
“When a company like Amazon locates downtown, it has a huge impact,” she said. “Its large employee base attracts other businesses to the area, and helps to add vibrancy to an entire neighborhood, as we’re seeing in South Lake Union.”
Amazon made a 2010 profit of $1.15 billion as its annual sales increased 40 percent to $34.2 billion. Amazon’s website lists more than 1,800 job openings in Seattle, ranging from author-relations coordinator to software-development engineers.