Paul Allen’s Vulcan, Inc. and Jeff Bezos’s Amazon are competing to impose their own redevelopment visions on Seattle. Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, got started first with his very own, taxpayer funded football stadium south of downtown and his in-progress makeover of south Lake Union on the northern edge of downtown. Bezos is coming on strong, with his new Amazon headquarters taking over central downtown… unless the city tries to levy a new tax; then he’s outta there.
Seattle still has a few quirky attractions that residents are proud to show off to visitors. They demonstrate how hip and creative they are, and are serious evidence that they do not take themselves too seriously.
Jeff Bezos and Paul Allen are competing to see who can make the heart of Seattle into his own vision. Microsoft co-founder and Seahawks owner Allen’s football stadium south of downtown and his Lake Union redevelopment Experience Music Center to the north are changing the face of the city.
Meanwhile, Amazon now occupies more than 25% of Seattle’s total office space. The all-things-for-sale behemoth filled 70% of new office space last year and is on track for the same in 2017. Of course, this keeps rents high for other tenants in the downtown area. People who are prone to worry have expressed concern that with one entity so entrenched in the city’s core, a downturn in Amazon’s fortunes could have a deleterious effect on Seattle. But that’s silly. Big companies are immune to that sort of adversity.
The Kingdome, King County’s domed stadium, home to Seattle’s baseball Mariners and football Seahawks, was demolished in 2000, at the advanced age of twenty-four. Fifteen years after the implosion, March 2015, King County taxpayers finished paying off the bonds issued to finance its construction.