Oculus VR, the virtual reality headset maker that Facebook purchased for $2 billion last year, has inked a lease for 51,000 square feet at the Stadium Innovation Center in Seattle’s Sodo neighborhood, according to a report in the Daily Journal of Commerce.
The lease is a big one, positioning the headset maker to expand rapidly in Seattle. It also helps cement the Sodo area as an important tech hub, with companies such as RealNetworks and Porch choosing the neighborhood for new offices. Meanwhile, HTC’s Creative Labs offices are nearby in Pioneer Square, where engineers are working on the HTC Vive virtual reality headset. Stadium Innovation Center is located just southwest of CenturyLink Field and Safeco Field.
We reported on the arrival of the Oculus R&D center in Seattle last year, with the company tapping former Valve engineer Atman Binstock to help lead the charge.
Seattle’s prominence as a gaming center is also establishing the city as a hub for virtual reality and augmented reality development, with Microsoft working on the HoloLens device and startups such as Envelop VR and Pluto VR recently being formed to create AR and VR applications. Just last week, Madrona Venture Group’s Matt McIlwain noted that virtual and augmented reality would be a focus of the firm’s new $300 million venture fund.
“We think the combination of what Valve is doing here in town, the strong presence of Oculus and the Facebook team here, and what Microsoft is doing with HoloLens and other initiatives and undoubtedly others in town are working on stuff as well, that this is a great area for VR and AR investments,” said McIlwain.
We’ve reached out to Oculus for comment on the new office, and we’ll update this post as we learn more.