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SpaceX is seeking permits to make extensive renovations at its new office in Redmond, Wash.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk has said that video-game developers make for great aerospace engineers. If that’s the case, his company’s new Seattle-area location is in a great location for poaching some prime talent.

The company’s new office is located in Redmond, Wash., a few minutes down the highway from Microsoft’s Xbox campus and the Nintendo of America headquarters, and in the midst of numerous video-game startups.

SpaceX hasn’t announced or confirmed the location — company representatives declined to comment beyond Musk’s comments to Bloomberg News earlier today — but GeekWire found the site by searching Redmond building permits. We verified the location by visiting the nondescript and unmarked building, where a person wearing a SpaceX badge answered the door.

Elon Musk.
Elon Musk

The company, best known for making the first commercial resupply missions to the International Space Station, is seeking permits to make extensive renovations to the two-story, 30,000-square-foot building, according to records on file with the city.

Musk told Bloomberg that there will be “50 or 60” employees initially, and it may be three or four years before the Seattle office employs 1,000. The office will be a center for satellite development.

We’ve heard separately that Musk himself is expected to be in town on Friday to mark the company’s new presence in the region, as part of a private event to be held by SpaceX in Seattle.

In October, GeekWire reported on several former Microsoft engineers in the Seattle region joining SpaceX, including ex-members of Microsoft’s Xbox and games teams. The office would also put SpaceX in a strong position to recruit engineers from Boeing and Blue Origin, the space venture founded by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

The new SpaceX office promises to give a shot in the arm to the region’s aerospace industry, which has quickly become a hub for commercial space ventures and space entrepreneurs.

Gov. Jay Inslee, speaking during his State of the State address today, called SpaceX “one of the most innovative companies on the planet” and said its decision to put a satellite office in the region shows that investing in science, technology, engineering and math education, along with workforce retraining, will pay off for the state’s economy.

Musk, who founded SpaceX in 2002 and also runs the Tesla car company, wants to colonize life on Mars and sees satellite development as a necessary task toward that ambition. Bloomberg notes that by building a commercial satellite business, Musk will gain revenue and better communications knowledge to help make life on Mars a reality.

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