Seattle now challenges Silicon Valley as the major growth area for technology companies. Microsoft and Amazon have headquarters in the area. Seattle is the largest city in the state of Washington with over 600,000 in population. Of those that live there about 200,000 have employment in the technology sector.
Major Corporations Make Seattle a High Tech Center
Amazon made a major commitment to the area. First, Amazon rented a 1.7 million square foot campus located in the South Lake Union area, from Vulcan, Inc. the company owned by Paul Allen. In 2013, Amazon decided to buy the property for a cool $1 billion dollars. The price paid was double the going rate for office space in Seattle.
It was the largest amount ever paid for a commercial property with over 100,000 square feet. This move clearly meant that Amazon is in Seattle to stay.
Research Centers and World-Changing Efforts in Seattle
Research companies noted the amazing pool of intellectual talent that is attracted to the area.
The following organizations are located in Seattle because of this:
- Center for Infectious Disease Research – The goal of this organization is to prevent, treat, and cure infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis.
- Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – This organization has enormous funds, thanks to the contribution of the founders and the largest donation to any charitable organization ever made, which Warren Buffet gave them. Warren matched his friend Bill’s commitment to this work and this foundation now has about $36 billion dollars that they are diligently applying to solve some of the world’s biggest problems.
- Fred Hutch Cancer Center – Founded to honor the legacy of two Hutchinson brothers, Fred and William, this center has three Noble Laureates on staff and works diligently to discover treatments for cancer and the cure for cancer. Fred was a Seattle surgeon and his brother was a professional baseball player. The the Fred Hutch Cancer Center started in 1975.
There are controversial changes affecting Seattle business, including high city taxes, and the establishment of a $15 per hour minimum wage, which has forced many businesses to leave the city, according to KOMO news.
Even so, Forbes named Seattle one of the most livable cities in America. Forbes says the most livable large cities are Boston, San Francisco, and Seattle. Areavibes notes the cost of living in Seattle is 42% higher than the average American city. Livability says the median house price is $433,800 and the median family income is $65,277.
Seattle is challenging because it is expensive to live there and expensive to operate a business there. Nevertheless, with about one third of the population focused on high-tech efforts, Seattle is still very attractive for technology companies, including high end Seattle SEO service providers.