Fast-growing IT automation startup Chef has inked a deal for three floors in a historic building in Seattle’s Pioneer Square building, more than tripling the space at its previous digs.
Chef moved into the new office at 619 Western Avenue — directly east of the Washington State Ferry Terminal — on Monday. The company took over floors two to four, totaling 36,000 square feet of space. The company will not utilize all of that space off the bat, but it does signal big things ahead for Chef in the Seattle area.
It plans to finish the year with about 200 employees, growing to about 400 in 2015, said CEO Barry Crist.
“We had really outgrown our old space … and we were just bursting at the seams,” said Crist, referring to the company’s old office space about two blocks away.
The new space will have plenty of room, and boasts a common area, kitchen and meeting areas for members of the Chef open source community. The building also has rooftop deck access, with views of the Puget Sound, Smith Tower and sports stadiums.
“We view this whole waterfront as going through a big revival in the next couple of years, and just excited to be part of that,” said Crist, adding that they built out the three floors to their own specifications. The company did investigate space in the South Lake Union area, but Crist said he believes the waterfront is going to be an “exciting place to be” in the next five to 10 years.
The 619 Western building has a storied past, serving as a freight building that was used to store lumber from Skid Road. In the early 1980s, the warehouse space transformed into an artists’ colony. Crist called the building a “historic space with a lot of character.”
Formerly known as Opscode, Chef is growing fast, announcing in July that its incremental revenue grew by 182 percent in the second quarter. The office expansion follows a $32 million venture round that Chef scored last December from Scale Venture Partners, DFJ, Ignition, Battery Ventures and others.
“We have a strong appetite for hiring in the Seattle area — developers, operations, marketing, finance — really across all functions,” said Crist.
The Chef platform helps large enterprises — everyone from Facebook to Nordstrom to Riot Games— more quickly automate development processes and move business operations into the cloud.