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Amazon to Buy its Headquarters from Vulcan for $1.16 Billion

First there was Vulcan, Paul Allen's real estate development company, that built today's South Lake Union neighborhood singlehandedly, including buildings for medical research and a headquarters campus for Amazon. In fact, Amazon is not only Seattle's biggest private-sector employer but, with nearly two million square feet across 11 buildings, Amazon is Vulcan's biggest tenant.

Back in August, Vulcan said it was going to sell off the Amazon buildings. The thinking was that the sale would raise about a billion simoleons. The folks at Amazon must have done some quick math, the way any renter would: hmm, we're paying "x" per square foot in rent that we can deduct as a business expense, but we're sitting on a gazillion bucks in cash and the owner wants to sell.

At $1.16 billion, the deal works out to around $645 per sq. ft., which is on the high end for top downtown office space, but not excessive. And Amazon gets to own its buildings, which also makes business sense. It's also building three more buildings in the Denny Triangle, outside of the Vulcan footprint.

As for the mechanics of this deal Puget Sound Business Journal reports that Amazon has made a non-refundable deposit of $23 million, which it will forfeit if the deal doesn't close in the 4th quarter of this year.

[Photo by Valerie Craig via Flickr]

-- Ronald Holden

· UPDATED: Amazon paying $1.16B for its 11-building Seattle campus [PSBJ]