Amazon SouthLakeUnion Seattle (42 of 57)

  • Amazon’s unparalleled growth over the last decade has changed its hometown of Seattle.
  • Amazon controls around 20% of prime office real estate in the city, mostly centered in downtown Seattle.
  • It can make the area feel like it’s owned by Amazon — a feeling underscored by an uncomfortable run-in I had with Amazon security guards.

It’s no secret that downtown Seattle — specifically, South Lake Union and Denny Triangle — is dominated by Amazon.

With offices spread over more than 33 buildings and a Seattle workforce edging past 40,000, the area can sometimes feel like Amazon’s private city.

That feeling was driven home on a recent walk through the neighborhood. About an hour into my walk, I turned the corner onto 7th Avenue where the company’s cashierless test store for employees, Amazon Go, is located.

A photojournalist had set up a camera on the sidewalk to film construction across the street. Two security guards were gathered around her asking questions and seemingly calling something in on their radio.

I snapped the above photo and walked past them.

As I did, the security guard pictured followed me, holding up his smartphone to my face. I stopped and asked him what he was doing. He replied that it is company policy to film all media personnel in the area. I had never identified myself as media.

After the guards left, I went back to the photojournalist and asked her about the incident. The photojournalist, who works for a local media organization, said Amazon security has tried to throw its weight around when she’s photographed in the area before.

“In my opinion, I think they think they own the city, and can patrol it how they want. But no one will stop me from taking photos on a public street,” the photojournalist told Business Insider, Read More Here