Brian Wilson, chief of staff to Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell, told GeekWire via telephone this afternoon that the company will move 800 employees to Seattle in late 2016 and sell more than 430 acres of land in Federal Way. The company will keep its tech center, where 120 employees work, in Federal Way.
Wilson said Weyerhaeuser has undergone “significant changes” in the past decade, and added that it has “been a good corporate partner with us.”
“It’s a huge change,” Wilson said of the relocation. “There have been a tremendous amount of employees in the city of Federal Way that have worked at Weyerhaeuser over the years.”
The city will now meet with Weyerhaeuser to discuss how to market the Federal Way property to potential bidders.
Founded in 1900, Weyerhaeuser generated $7.3 billion in sales last year and employs 13,000 worldwide. Its stock is up 23 percent in the last 12 months, and the company saw its 2014 Q2 earnings rise 43 percent from the same time period last year.
It’s a bit curious that Weyerhaeuser’s tech center is staying in Federal Way, given that Pioneer Square is home to a bevy of tech companies.
Seattle-based Mithun is designing the new seven-story building at 200 Occidental, which will feature 160,000 square-feet of office space. Construction is scheduled to start next year.
The mayor is set to announce the relocation at 5:30 p.m. this afternoon in Pioneer Square.
Update, 3:55 p.m. — Weyerhaeuser just issued a press release confirming the move.
“There are two main drivers for this decision, which we made after thorough analysis of various options for the location of our headquarters,” CEO Doyle Simons said in the release. “First, our 430-acre campus in Federal Way is costly and too large for our needs. Second, moving our headquarters to Seattle will give us access to a larger talent pool to meet future recruiting needs, not just in this region, but from across the country.”
“Weyerhaeuser has a long successful history in Federal Way,” Simons added. “We’ve attracted great people to work here and this campus has served us well. Moving to Seattle is an important step forward for us and I’m excited about the opportunities it will bring to our company and employees.”