Amazon is significantly expanding its Southern California office footprint, announcing office leases to create 2,500 new business and technology jobs in Santa Monica, Irvine and San Diego.
The e-commerce giant announced Tuesday that it has signed three leases totaling 439,000 square feet for so-called “tech hubs” in the three cities. The leases bring Amazon’s Southern California office space to more than 1.5 million square feet, an increase of more than 40%, according to real estate agent data.
The Seattle-based company plans to hire locally in a variety of areas, including retail, operations, gaming and web services. Specific roles include software development engineers, game designers, and user experience designers.
The three offices are the latest in a series of locations Amazon has opened over the past two years to meet rising demand from consumers at home during the pandemic. Last week, the company acknowledged that the hiring frenzy left too many employees and too much warehouse space as it reported a $3.8 billion quarterly loss.
E-commerce growth has slowed as the pandemic subsides, and analysts say the company must now cut its workforce without sparking labor unrest that would support union efforts.
Amazon workers at a New York plant rejected a union on Monday. Workers at another Staten Island warehouse voted to organize in April in a first for the nascent union movement among Amazon workers.
The retailer said it opened 15 locations in Southern California last year and added 17,000 jobs statewide, bringing Amazon’s total California workforce to 170,000. Amazon has doubled its logistics network during the pandemic and is currently the second largest private employer in the US with 1.62 million employees.
“These 2,500 new jobs will include building cloud infrastructure, enhancing the Alexa experience and developing innovative video games,” said Holly Sullivan, Amazon’s vice president of Worldwide Economic Development.
The offices are scheduled to open in the middle of next year and the employees will be employed for three years, the company said.
The largest lease is in Santa Monica, where Amazon has signed a deal to lease 200,000 square feet of space in the Water Garden, a business center about two miles from the beach. The complex already houses an office for Amazon Studios, as well as other tech companies including software giant Oracle and video game developer Naughty Dog.
Expected to open in mid-2023, the new location will expand Amazon’s Los Angeles tech hub and house more than 1,000 new tech and corporate jobs.
In Irvine, where the company has signed a lease for 116,000 square feet of office space at Spectrum Terrace, a modern complex with cabanas for meetings and an Olympic-size swimming pool along the way. The location is scheduled to open before the end of this year and will take on around 800 new employees.
“Economic development, especially job creation, is crucial for the growth of our city. Amazon’s expansion of its technology center in Irvine is a testament to the fantastic talent pool and quality of life our city has to offer,” said Irvine Mayor Farrah Khan, adding that the investment is a vote of confidence in the city.
In San Diego, the company has signed a lease for a 123,000-square-foot space in University Town Center that will accommodate approximately 700 new employees. They will join the roughly 1,000 employees already working at Amazon’s San Diego tech hub. The space will open in early 2023.
Roger Vincent, a Times contributor, contributed to this report.