CONTROVERSY

Gates Foundation Drops $500M on New Building

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is shelling out a ton of cash again, but this time it's to build a $500 million state-of-the-art office building in Seattle that will serve as the foundation's headquarters. That sum far outweighs what neighboring Russell Investments spent to house their employees, and it's only $200 million less than what nearby Amazon.com's rent is, even though the online retailer employs 25 times the number of people. The move seems to run counter to the premise that charitable money should be spent efficiently, though the foundation's representatives maintain that the long-term investment is cost efficient. The Gates family is pitching in $350 million of their personal wealth for the project.