City Spotlight – Auburn

City Spotlight – Auburn

Auburn Features Image

Centralized Location, Thriving Industry, and Heritage

Bordering Kent to the South, Auburn has many of the same qualities that make us love Kent!

While having a few key differences that make it stand out from its neighbors.

All while strengthening the economy of South King County as a whole.

Auburn Washington Downtown Association

Centralized Location

Similar to Kent, Auburn's centralized location gives businesses a strategic advantage. Being 30 minutes from Seattle, Tacoma, Bellevue, and most of Pierce County allows businesses to attract clients from all over the area. 

Auburn also offers a much more reasonable commute for employees than downtown Seattle or Tacoma with multiple highways in and around the city. 

Interstate 5, Highway 167, and Highway 18 are all easily accessible. No matter if you want more traffic for a business, easy routes for your product to be transported, or simply an easier commute Auburn has an ideal location! 

Growing Business Environment

Commercial attractions featuring Auto-Row and the Seattle Outlet Collection (Formerly The Supermall) make Auburn a consumer destination.

Auto-Row is home to over two dozen car dealers of all makes, models, and styles. The Seattle Outlet Collection has stores selling all sorts of retail goods.

With multiple railroads and highway proximity Auburn is home to a bustling and rapidly growing industrial sector. Auburn is also home to an expanding aerospace industry. Multiple startups are located within a few miles of Boeing's fabrication plant. 

Job growth is set to beat the estimated average across the United States over the next decade. 

Residential Diversity


Auburn is home to a large amount of Slavic descendants. Combined with nearly 30% of residents speaking Spanish, make the community quite diverse.

The Muckleshoot Native American Tribe also calls the area home. An economic force in their own right, with one of the largest Casinos in the Pacific Northwest. 

Residents of all nationalities and variety of local industries mean a city of opportunity for people of all backgrounds. 

Expected Auburn Population Mid 2018:


Notable Locations

Boeing Auburn Fabrication Plant - With their close ties to the region, it should be no surprise that Boeing is the largest employer in the city. 

White River Amphitheater - Many major concert series and performers make a stop at White River which is one of the largest outdoor venues in Washington. 

Green River Community College - One of the largest schools in Washington state. Offers a variety of degree programs across many industries including some bachelors degree programs. 

Green River Community College - Salish Hall - Auburn Washington
Green River Community College
Amazon’s Relationship With Seattle, Our Thoughts on What Happens Now.

Amazon’s Relationship With Seattle, Our Thoughts on What Happens Now.

It is no secret, Amazon’s HQ2 will be built somewhere in North America. Ultimately, the Seattle area will not be host to that new headquarters.

In our opinion, we are better off that way.

Labor market drought

Amazon has received over 230 proposals across the country because of its proven result of major job growth to that area. Thus resulting in an economic boom for that small area. However, small businesses will feel the available labor force drought almost immediately. Many industrial areas cannot sustain the personnel demands of Amazon as well as their own local businesses.

Amazon can support substantial wages, offers benefit packages, and stable employment, but generally, there are only a finite amount of people to fill the demands Amazon has.

Furthermore, the response “People will just move to the area,” has an entirely different problem.

The cost to live near Amazon

Take it from those near Seattle, when an area has a massive economic growth period real estate prices will keep pace.

The average cost of a home in Seattle is $730,000 as of writing this. Up 13.2 percent since last year. Well over double the national average of 6.1 percent.

This can create a rather odd situation where Amazon’s own employees cannot afford to live in the city which they work.

As of Mid October, there were three condos available in Seattle under the $500,000 mark, in the entire city.

Our thoughts on the future

Amazon owns 16% of the office real estate space in Seattle. Their distribution centers are massive employment centers across the greater Seattle region. Amazon is a piece of a much larger economic picture in the Pacific Northwest.

Seattle and Amazon’s relationship seems well balanced. Consequently, Amazon hit the market at the correct time and have not saturated it. Amazon’s next step is to seek an area for HQ2 that has the population, real estate availability, and infrastructure to support their continued growth.

Where should Amazon’s HQ2 be located?

A few options that crossed our mind:



Detroit was formerly known as one of the manufacturing capitals of the United States.

Additionally, Detroit used to be known as Motor City. Amazon could revitalize that American working spirit under the banner of a 21st-century tech giant.

Amazon would be hard-pressed to find a large urban area with real estate space Amazon could acquire and a city that would openly embrace a new titan of industry like Detroit would.

This city has proven they know how to work. As a result, Amazon’s HQ2 would find staff in an eager to work populace


Amazon is one of the largest employers of recent college graduates in the United States. While Pittsburgh has multiple world-renown colleges nearby.

Pittsburgh has the populace to support Amazon’s HQ2, the city makeup to allow them to grow, and the local institutions to feed into Amazon’s personnel at all levels.

While Pittsburgh may not need the revitalization like other cities, it cannot be denied they are a good fit for HQ2.



Atlanta is the turn-key fit for Amazon. Atlanta’s a major supply chain hub, tech company friendly, and hosts an international airport.

An international airport would be of particular importance for Amazon employees going between HQ1 in Seattle and HQ2 in Atlanta as well as abroad.

Nice weather and affordable housing combined with a large populace make an attractive proposal for Amazon.