Amazon will add 2,500 office jobs in Southern California

Amazon is dramatically expanding its white-collar presence in Southern California, announcing office leases to accommodate 2,500 new corporate and technology jobs in Santa Monica, Irvine and San Diego.

The e-commerce giant said on Tuesday it had signed three leases, totaling 439,000 square feet, for what it described as “tech hubs” in the three cities. Leases increase Amazon’s office space in Southern California to more than 1.5 million square feet, which is an increase of more than 40%, according to real estate brokerage data.

The Seattle-based company said it plans to hire locally for positions in various fields including retail, operations, games 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 that Amazon has opened over the past two years to deal with increased demand from consumers staying at home during the pandemic. Last week, the company admitted that the hiring spree left it with too many workers and too much storage space as it reported a quarterly loss of $3.8 billion.

E-commerce growth has slowed as the pandemic wanes, and analysts say the company must now trim its workforce without sparking labor disruption that would help union efforts.

Amazon workers at a New York facility on Monday rejected a union. Workers at a different warehouse on Staten Island voted to join a union in April, a first for the nascent union movement among Amazon employees.

Amazon’s new lease of Spectrum Terrace in Irvine will accommodate 800 new employees.

(Amazon, $13)

The retailer said it opened 15 locations in Southern California last year and added 17,000 jobs statewide, bringing Amazon’s total workforce in California to 170,000. Amazon doubled its logistics network during the pandemic and is currently the second largest private employer in the United States with 1.62 million workers.

“These 2,500 new jobs include building cloud infrastructure, optimizing the Alexa experience and designing cutting-edge video games,” said Holly Sullivan, Amazon Vice President of Worldwide Economic Development.

The company said the offices will open by the middle of next year and workers will be hired over a three-year period.

The biggest lease is in Santa Monica, with Amazon signing a deal to lease 200,000 square feet of space in Water Garden, a business hub located two miles from the beach. The complex already houses an office for Amazon Studios, as well as other technology companies including software giant Oracle and video game maker Naughty Dog.

Expected to open in mid-2023, the new location will expand the Amazon Tech Center in Los Angeles and will accommodate more than 1,000 new tech and corporate jobs.

In Irvine, the company has signed a lease for 116,000 square feet of office space at Spectrum Terrace, a modern complex with meeting cabins and an Olympic-size pool down the road. Expected to open later this year, the site will accommodate approximately 800 new employees.

“Economic development, especially job creation, is critical to the growth of our city. Irvine Mayor Farah Khan, Amazon’s expansion of its technology hub in Irvine is a testament to the incredible talent pool and high quality of life that our city offers,” said Irvine Mayor Farah Khan, adding that the investment is a vote on the confidence in the city.

Aerial view of the office building complex.

Amazon has signed a lease for 123,000 square feet at University Town Center to accommodate more than 700 employees.

(Amazon, $13)

In San Diego, the company has signed a lease for 123,000 square feet at University Town Center, which will accommodate approximately 700 new employees. They will join about 1,000 employees already working at Amazon’s technology center in San Diego. The space will open in early 2023.

Times staff writer Roger Vincent contributed to this report.

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