Amazon is constructing a new headquarters in Seattle, Washington, but the company's impact there may be a lot bigger than putting in a few impressive buildings. According to The New York Times, Seattle's South Lake Union is turning from a drab warehouse district into a thriving hub of workers and food carts, all converging on the location thanks to Amazon's wealth of employees who are already in the area. “South Lake Union was a place that people drove through, not to,” John Schoettler, Amazon’s real estate director, tells the Times. “Once we started development there, everything started to spring up around us.”
Apartment complexes are shooting up nearby too, and other technology companies are trying to locate in the vicinity, reports the Times. Amazon already occupies 14 smaller buildings in the area, and the first of its large, new towers is already under construction. The online retailer has ambitious plans for those new buildings, which includes a trio of giant, spherical greenhouses that would sit beside its offices and hold additional workspaces. When the towers are all complete, Amazon will have room for 12,000 additional employees, which the Times says will bring its Seattle total up to nearly 30,000 people — pushing the retailer's impact on the city even further.