Google’s Seattle expansion is no secret, but the search giant hadn’t gone into much detail about which groups would work out of the brand new campus. Until now.
At the GeekWire Cloud Tech Summit, Greg DeMichillie, Google’s director of product management, office of the CTO, Google Cloud, said the company’s cloud division is going to anchor that campus.
“If you look at the rate at which we are hiring, not just in engineering, our growth here in Seattle is pretty phenomenal,” DeMichillie said. “We are bursting at the seams in our Fremont facility. Kirkland, we just added another building. We’ve now broken ground on a new building in South Lake Union that is going to be basically Google Cloud.”
The new Google campus, which is being developed by Paul Allen’s Vulcan Real Estate, spans two full blocks. It will include about 600,000 square feet of office space, along with a residential tower on each block with a combined 149 units. Work began last month on the project, which was announced last year, and it will be complete in early 2019.
That Google is bringing its cloud operation to South Lake Union neighborhood is not a big surprise. Seattle is rapidly becoming the center of the cloud universe. The site is on the edge of Amazon’s global headquarters, and of course Amazon is the dominant player in the cloud market. Being just down the street gives Google a shot to poach Amazon Web Services talent as it seeks to catch up with Amazon, as well as Microsoft, in the competitive cloud market.
DeMichillie said its cloud division is the biggest team in both its Kirkland and Seattle offices. Portions of the teams working on Maps, video conferencing and Hangouts are also here.
Google’s Seattle presence has been a boon for hiring. Between the big companies, the new talent coming out of the University of Washington, Silicon Valley companies with offices here and local startups, the pipeline is plentiful. It’s also pretty easy to get people from out of town to come to Seattle to work for Google.
“When we go to hire somebody from the East Coast, say, it is often a lot easier to pitch them on re-locating to Seattle than it is to relocate to the Bay Area because they have all heard the economic stories of prices of housing and all those sorts of things,” DeMichillie said. “So it turns out this is a great place to hire; we can fill headcount faster in Seattle than we can in the Bay Area.”