11 Investigates goes to Seattle to learn more about Amazon HQ2

11 Investigates goes to Seattle to learn more about Amazon HQ2

Pittsburgh is on the short list for finalists for Amazon's second headquarters in North America. Right now, Amazon is not revealing much about its search and selection process, so Target 11's Rick Earle traveled to Seattle to see how Amazon's first headquarters has influenced that city.

The company is home to more than 40,000 employees in Seattle. Right now, Amazon occupies 30 buildings in the downtown area and it plans to take up more space in the future.

Amazon spokesperson Allison Flicker took us on a tour of the company's sprawling facilities. Amazon is home to video and music services, devices like Kindle and Alexa, web services and grocery help. All those services have the company looking for new space, possibly in Pittsburgh.

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"We are just as excited as you are to learn where HQ2 will be," Flicker said. "It's really an exciting time for Amazon and it's not lost on us how much of a privilege this is to bring that many jobs to a new city."

The HQ2 initiative promises up to 50,000 new jobs in the chosen city. All the jobs added in Seattle led to a construction boom. At one point, more than 70 cranes were visible in the skyline.

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"Amazon's been doing a lot of stuff around here," said Randy Sloan, a Seattle construction worker.  "So it's obviously kept us real busy."

Construction companies were far from the only companies to benefit from this. One food truck manager told us the Amazon employees were critical to its success.

Amazon has also been a big help for nonprofits like Mary's Place, which provides shelter for homeless families. Amazon is now building it a new facility.

"It's lifesaving to have that many beds right there on campus at Amazon," Linda Mitchell of Mary's Place told Target 11's Rick Earle.

The company works to be environmentally friendly too. It uses recycled energy to heat some buildings and added a greenspace this year, where employees can gather in a greenhouse-like space to do work.

There is a focus on employee wellness, with a game room and arts and crafts lab. Amazon is a dog-friendly workspace, where employees can bring their dogs to work. The dog park outside is for community use, along with the employees.

"We love being in Seattle, we love working in the city," Flicker said. "Our employees love it as well."