October 9, 2012, 10:59 AM

Amazon to buy its Seattle office campus for $1.16 billion

The world’s biggest web retailer plans to become its own landlord.

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Amazon.com Inc. plans to buy its downtown Seattle headquarters campus, including 11 buildings it currently leases, for approximately $1.16 billion, the retailer says.

Amazon, No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 500, has made a non-refundable deposit of approximately $23 million  on the property and expects to close on the purchase in the fourth quarter, the company said last week in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The non-refundable deposit will increase to approximately $51 million on Oct. 22 and will be forfeited if Amazon doesn’t close on the transaction before year’s end, the company adds in the filing.

The office complex, which comprises 1.8 million square feet of Amazon’s currently leased corporate office space in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, is owned by Seattle-based real estate firm Vulcan Inc. Vulcan is owned by Paul Allen, the cofounder of Microsoft Corp.

The plan to purchase the property doesn’t affect Amazon’s plans to build three additional office towers in Seattle’s Denny Triangle section, an Amazon spokesman says. The retailer leases about 3.5 million square feet of office space in North America.

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