Tableau Software CEO Christian Chabot told GeekWire last month that his 2,800-person company planned to grow by another 1,000 workers in 2016 — now we know where some of those new employees will be stationed.
The fast-growing maker of data visualization software today announced that it signed a lease for 110,000 square feet of space in a building still under construction directly across the street from its current headquarters in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood.
That’s a massive chunk of new space for Tableau, which just last summer committed to taking over the 210,000 square-foot NorthEdge building, now under construction in Fremont between N. 34th Street and N. Northlake Ave. That four-story building, which has capacity for 1,300 employees, will serve as the company’s headquarters when it opens in the second half of 2016.
The new building — located at 744 N. 34th St. on the site of the former Milstead & Co. coffee shop and Cafe Turko restaurant, both of which will return when construction is completed — provides even more elbow room for Tableau in Fremont, a quirky artistic neighborhood that locals famously refer to as “The Center of the Universe.”
The 14-year-old company also is expanding internationally, announcing today that it has opened new offices in New York and Beijing.
In addition, Tableau confirmed earlier reports and said it will also expand its Kirkland offices east of Seattle. It just inked a lease for three floors and 92,000 square feet of space in a new mixed-use development called Kirkland Urban slated to go up on Central Way near Peter Kirk Park, replacing the existing Kirkland Parkplace development where Tableau already has an office.
All told, Tableau now occupies or has inked leases at 10 buildings in the Seattle area — seven in Fremont, and three in Kirkland. The company already employs 1,200 in the region, and will add another 600 in 2016 alone.
“It’s pretty exciting,” Chabot said last month of the hiring plans. “You’re only able to do this if the business is flourishing, but if it is flourishing, then you’re able to bring in the next generation of talent.”
The growth plan is stunning for a company which started humbly with technology from Stanford University, and has called Fremont home from its earliest days in 2003. The huge expansion in the hip Fremont neighborhood is somewhat remarkable considering how the area is real estate-constrained.
In fact, the company is getting creative when it comes to its real estate expansion in Fremont — a neighborhood that boasts a statue of Lenin and hosts an annual Solstice Parade with naked bicyclists.
In 2014, Tableau took over the Sound Mind & Body gym, renovating the 50,000 square-foot building to house the company’s engineering workforce.
Chabot said that when the company’s founders originally picked Fremont as a headquarters location, “none of us were thinking of the 12-year plan.” However, they did commit to building a company in an urban location, unlike many tech giants.
“Most VC-backed high-growth tech companies are in one of these could-be-anywhere tech parks surrounded by giant parking lots with the green arrow you wait four minutes for to get out when your day is done,” Chabot said. “They have that suburban feel, with the Chevron across the street and that token corporate sandwich shop that services four office buildings.”
Chabot and his colleagues “never wanted to work like that,” the CEO noted. So, they ultimately landed in a Fremont neighborhood that’s full of quirky shops and bike trails that run along Lake Union with beautiful views of downtown Seattle.
Tableau has carried forth that commitment to opening offices in urban areas, Chabot said. The company now has 16 locations in 10 countries around the world in places like Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, and London, where Chabot spent a majority of 2015 at the company’s UK office.
Tableau, which went public in 2013 and counts 35,000 clients worldwide, reported $170.8 million in revenue in its most recent quarterly earnings report, up 64 percent year-over-year and 8 percent more than the $158 million analysts expected. It added 3,100 new customers in the quarter and closed 296 transactions greater than $100,000. Tableau’s stock is up nearly 2 percent over the past year.