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Seattle Sketcher

An illustrated journal of life in the Puget Sound region by Times artist Gabriel Campanario.

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April 21, 2009 7:22 PM

How will new Amazon campus change South Lake Union?

Posted by Gabriel Campanario

amazongroundbreaking042009h

April 20, 2:25 p.m. Construction of Amazon's new headquarters continues in South Lake Union. A groundbreaking ceremony for the largest buildings to start construction was held yesterday at the Terry Avenue building. I sketched the moment when tables and chairs from the event were being packed away in a truck. [Larger]

Vulcan Real Estate has been hard at work building Amazon's new campus in the South Lake Union for more than a year. I'm impatient to see how this neighborhood will look after the 11-building complex is finished and employees start to arrive. Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels said that 20,000 people would work in South Lake Union by 2012, more than double the current number.

That is a lot of new people coming into a neighborhood, even if they don't spend the night. It's like an entire city! I wonder if we'll see many of them sitting outdoors and reading their Kindles when the weather is as nice as today. Or if Amazon will have a cafeteria open to the public. I hope they do. My favorite burger joint and coffee shops in this area are going to be very crowded.

Last, I worry about how bad traffic may get. Another streetcar would probably help. Maybe a green one. I don't think we have that color.

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