South Lake Union Tech Expansion
Though much of Seattle’s tech expansion and news has revolved around Amazon, other key players are expanding their presence at South Lake Union. As GeekWire reported this week, Expedia and Apple are moving along nicely with their new Emerald City campuses.
Late last year, Apple quietly announced their plans for a second headquarter location in Austin Texas, to be complemented by satellite cities in California and Seattle. They initially indicated that they would employ approximately 1,000 Seattle workers, but as GeekWire outlines, that figure recently doubled, with Apple expecting 2,000 employees within the next five years.
Mayor Jenny Durkan, who visited the project this week, said “We have room to grow and we are thriving. Apple’s expansion in Seattle is yet another example of the growing opportunity that our region and our city shows.”
Apple appears to be making space for additional expansion, if needed, as the project they’ve secured could hold an estimated 3,000 to 4,500 workers, if needed. The company has not yet reported what the Seattle office focus will be, but the company is actively recruiting for iCloud and has said “it will be hiring for a wide range of engineering roles including in hardware and software.”
Expedia is also inching closer to its planned relocation, with some employees expected to move to the new $900 million Interbay campus in October. The shift will occur in waves of a few hundred at a time, and when all is said and done, there will be an estimated 4,500 Seattle-based Expedia workers – their campus, is set to accommodate nearly double that.
Amidst growing concerns over congestion in South Lake Union, Expedia has committed to solutions to alleviate traffic, including shuttles and vanpools, an ample bike storage facility with showers, and as GeekWire notes, they will even “put money in the pockets of employees who don’t drive to work—$5 per day.”
The campus includes nearly two acres of publish space, with a beach park and renovated pedestrian and bike path to bring people to Seattle’s waterfront.
Though Expedia is holding some of their office space at Skyline Tower, the majority of their high-rise will go to Amazon, which “signed a 16-year lease for more than 400,000 square feet in the Expedia Tower building, with room for about 2,500 people.” The lease will go into effect next year and comprises all of the building’s office space.