This one kind of slipped under our radar. Clearwire, the broadband wireless company founded by Craig McCaw, has moved its corporate headquarters from Kirkland’s Carillon Point to the former Teledesic building in Bellevue.
It’s not much of a move, really just a few miles. And the shift actually occurred back in September, though we didn’t discover it until this morning when a SEC filing indicated that the company’s principal executive offices are now at 1475 120th Avenue Northeast.
That’s an important office building in Seattle tech history, but not so much for the good luck it brings. High-profile flame outs HomeGrocer.com and Teledesic have called the building home in years past.
Can Clearwire reverse the curse?
Well, the company certainly has encountered some rough patches in the past 12 months, with the stock down some 55 percent on the year.
Clearwire’s longtime partner, Sprint, just this month agreed to invest $1.6 billion into the company over the next four years. But that might not be enough to keep Clearwire afloat. Bloomberg News reports today that unprofitable Clearwire still has outstanding debt of $4 billion and fixed costs of $1.2 billion. One bond analyst recently wrote that he remains concerned about a “dysfunctional relationship” with Sprint, noting “significant concerns surrounding its long term viability.”
A spokesman for Clearwire said that the company — which had an existing presence in the Teledesic space — consolidated operations there in “order to increase productivity and reduce costs.”
The company employs about 400 in the Bellevue office, and 450 throughout the Puget Sound area. It no longer employs anyone at Carillon Point, a waterfront office park that previously served as headquarters of McCaw Cellular.