We heard rumors last fall that HTC, the giant Taiwanese smartphone maker, was looking for office space in Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square neighborhood. Now, we’ve learned that the company has settled on space in the old Occidental Mall building.
A real estate source tells GeekWire that the company is securing about 50,000 square feet of space in the building. That’s enough room for about 250 employees.
Through a spokesperson, HTC declined to comment.
The company, which has maintained its North American headquarters in Bellevue for a number of years and operates a small branch office in Pioneer Square, employed about 200 people in the Seattle area as of last fall. It is unclear whether the company will relocate employees from the Bellevue operation to the new space, or whether the Pioneer Square office will give the company dual locations in the region. (A strategy that Google, Tableau Software and other tech companies have effectively used as a recruiting strategy).
The lease marks a big deal for Pioneer Square, a battered neighborhood that’s seen the arrival of a number of startups and big tech companies in recent months. Last year, EMC/Isilon Systems took over a huge 140,000 square foot space on 1st Avenue South, and Zynga set up a branch office in the old Washington Shoe Building. Also, just last week, GeekWire reported on the arrival of a new entrepreneurial hub, The Center for Impact and Innovation, on Second Avenue in the former Masins furniture building.