Could this be a sign of big things to come for Zillow.com? The online real estate company has signed a lease for three floors at the Russell Investments Center in downtown Seattle, just a stone’s throw away from the company’s current headquarters at the Wells Fargo Center.
“It was the right time to find a space with three continuous floors,” Zillow spokeswoman Amy Bohutinsky tells GeekWire. She said the company doesn’t yet have a move in date.
The Seattle company — which has raised $87 million to date and has recently been discussed as a possible IPO candidate — secured 66,000 square feet of space at the 42-story office tower. That’s a 38 percent increase over the company’s current location at the Wells Fargo Center, where employees are separated on multiple floors. Eric Pryne at The Seattle Times first reported the news.
So, what does the new space mean for Zillow? The company employs about 200 employees, and the new space would provide enough room to add dozens of new workers. The company’s jobs page currently lists 15 open positions.
Earlier this month, word spread that Zillow was talking to investment bankers about a possible IPO. A big lease in downtown Seattle might be another sign that the company is getting even more serious.
The Russell Investments Center is the former home base of Washington Mutual, which collapsed in 2008 in part due to its exposure in high risk mortgages. Ironically, among other things, Zillow.com operates an online mortgage marketplace, trying to help home owners get connected with high quality mortgage lenders.
Just to put Zillow’s new lease in perspective, it is more than double the amount of space that publicly-traded online retailer Blue Nile recently secured in Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood.
Obviously, Zillow has big plans ahead.
Update: I am told that Zillow will be taking over floors 29, 30 and 31 in the building, so the views should be pretty remarkable from there.
John Cook is co-founder of GeekWire. Follow on Twitter: @geekwirenews.