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Joni Balter

Amazon Has Made Seattle Richer and Angrier

Why the company’s charm offensive in its hometown has fallen short so far.
Promising something more.

Promising something more.

Photographer: David Ryder/Bloomberg

Strolling through the bustling construction zone of Amazon’s urban campus in Seattle, you instantly recognize the charm offensive the company has aimed at its hometown. “Banistas” at two outdoor stands offer bananas to employees and passers-by -- a visual cue to Amazon’s smiley logo.

Most American cities would do backflips to have a jobs juggernaut like Inc. in their midst. After all, the company will soon fill more than 10 million square feet of office space in a place where it now employs more than 30,000 people.