Disaster Risk and Economic Growth Create Uncomfortable Questions for Civic Boosters

Route Fifty: SEATTLE — When Amazon.com, Inc. unexpectedly announced last week that it was seeking to build a second headquarters campus somewhere outside its home base in the Pacific Northwest’s largest city, it sent municipal leaders and regional economic development boosters across North America into overdrive to pull together proposals to help woo one of the world’s largest tech companies to their area.

Amazon has helped transform Seattle’s skyline and commercial real estate landscape, building new office towers in the Denny Triangle and South Lake Union neighborhoods and gobbling up square footage elsewhere in the central business district. The company has helped make Seattle one of the nation’s fastest-growing cities.

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