On Wednesday, we told you about Google’s expansion plans in the Seattle area, including taking on more office space in Fremont and establishing a new, mysterious outpost in Bothell. At the time, we weren’t quite sure what was going on in the location northeast of Seattle, and the company was pretty cagey when we asked them about it.
Now, GeekWire has learned that Google’s new Bothell facility — located at Schnitzer North Creek Technology Campus – could accommodate as many as 840 workers.
That’s a huge number, given that the company currently has more than 850 employees split between facilities in Kirkland and Seattle.
But, before we get too ahead of ourselves on this one, there’s something else to consider. According to Bothell Public Information Officer Joy Johnston, the new Bothell operation, which is still under construction, is being configured in a call center format.
We don’t think that Google is going to be putting workers behind headsets. (I am not aware of them having any type of phone-based customer support).
But we have heard some chatter (including a GeekWire commenter on our previous story) who said that Google is relocating a team from Kirkland to Bothell that works on mapping and geolocation services. It is unclear whether those folks are actual employees of Google or work as contractors.
According to plans submitted with Bothell’s Community Development Department, the facility will have maximum occupancy in three sections for 264, 60 and 516 workers, respectively. It also includes a cafeteria for workers, said Johnston. (Google is well known for its luxurious dining options, so it will be interesting to see what they create at the new facility).
Whatever they do, Bothell is sure glad to have them.
Mayor Mark Lamb issued this statement to GeekWire today:
“Bothell is home to many successful companies, and it’s exciting that Google will be joining them. They’re coming at a perfect time since Bothell is in the midst of revitalizing it’s historic downtown, making it an even better place in which to live and work.”
Google declined to comment about its plans for Bothell, but it has said that it is expanding operations in the region. In June, it opened a new 55,000 square foot building in Kirkland and just yesterday the company confirmed plans to take space in the former Getty Images’ headquarters in Fremont.
Call center-style operations typically are much denser than engineering offices operated by tech companies. Real estate sources say that call centers typically range between 80 and 100 square feet per person, but can go as low 65 square feet.
Previously on GeekWire: As war for talent continues, Google opens mysterious Bothell location and expands in Fremont