One of the leaders of Facebook’s Seattle engineering operations says the company is “reinforcing its commitment” to the city with its lease of a large office project planned near Amazon’s headquarters in the South Lake Union neighborhood.
“We are growing and starting really exciting projects that span many different technologies – from highly scalable infrastructure, machine learning, and ads to (numerous) developer and user facing products,” said Vijaye Raji, a director of engineering at Facebook, in a post on his personal Facebook feed after the news was announced. “We have launched many new products built out of Seattle, and look forward to continuing the trend.”
The lease, with Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s Vulcan Inc. real estate development firm, was announced last week. It involves two six story buildings totaling 384,000 square feet, along Eighth Avenue North, between Thomas and Harrison streets. The buildings are scheduled be completed in third quarter of 2018, nearly doubling Facebook’s footprint in Seattle.
Facebook’s new lease is remarkable in part because the company this year moved into a large new office space a short distance away, on Dexter Avenue, with room for up to 2,000 people. The company employed 1,000 in the region as May of this year.
It’s the latest sign of a tech boom that has led a large number of Silicon Valley tech companies to establish engineering centers in the Seattle region — fueling the region’s housing market and putting new pressure on its transportation infrastructure.