Trending: Heavily funded real estate startup Compass moves in on Amazon with big new Seattle tech center

In a visit to Seattle last month, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg discussed the importance of the company’s newly-opened Seattle office, touting the high-quality engineers located in the region. Now, the fast-growing social networking powerhouse is looking to bolster its presence here. The company is on the prowl for more office space in downtown Seattle, GeekWire has learned.

Real estate sources tell GeekWire that the company is looking for as much as 40,000 square feet — a chunk of space that could accomodate as many as 200 workers.

Facebook currently employs about 40 at its current offices at 101 Stewart Street, just one block from historic Pike Place Market. It opened that office last August, marking the first engineering office for the company outside of its headquarters in Palo Alto, California.

A representative for Facebook declined to comment about the company’s growth plans in Seattle.

But, based on Zuckerberg’s remarks, the company is certainly looking to make a deeper push into a region dominated by tech giants such as, Expedia and Microsoft.

A brainstorm session at Facebook's downtown Seattle office

A real estate source says that Facebook is looking at space in downtown Seattle.

When Facebook arrived in Seattle last year, the company said that it wanted “stellar engineers” to help form the initial team.

“Seattle has a strong history of innovation and is home to thousands of talented technical people who we want to help us solve the challenges of designing and building the next generation of Facebook,”  Facebook site director Ari Steinberg wrote at the time. co-founder Kip Spencer, an adviser to startup tech companies, said that Facebook’s growth in Seattle is good for the tech and real estate communities.

“Seattle is a hotbed for tech talent, and I’m sure this was a major factor in Facebook’s decision to establish this operation,” Spencer said.

The company has already turned to Seattle for some of its key product initiatives, most recently the Skype video chat integration that was created in part by Seattle developer Philip Su.

As we’ve reported in the past, Facebook is not the only Silicon Valley powerhouse looking to mine the region for tech talent. Earlier this year, Zynga — maker of games such as CityVille and FarmVille —announced plans to take over about 7,000 square feet of space in the Washington Shoe Building in Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood.

Facebook also appears to be following the path of another Silicon Valley tech giant. Google opened a small office in Kirkland in 2004, and has since grown to about 1,000 employees in the region.

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