Facebook is making a massive investment in a Seattle-area campus for its virtual reality company Oculus, and a new report quantifies just how much it is spending on the space.
An analysis of construction permits by BuildZoom turned up a total value of more than $106.1 million for Oculus-related projects in Redmond, Wash. dating back to 2015. A flurry of permits valued at $88.3 million have been filed just this year, showing how quickly Oculus has ramped up its expansion.
Building permit values don’t always convey the complete picture of project costs, and this report may not capture the full scope of Oculus’s expansion. The analysis relies on permits with Oculus’ name on them, and Facebook has kept its plans for Oculus close to the vest. It’s possible that there are more projects out there without the Oculus name on them.
Oculus representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Facebook has never publicly detailed the size of Oculus’ footprint in Redmond, but GeekWire research pegs the size of the campus anywhere from about 350,000 square feet to more than 700,000 square feet. In addition to its growing Redmond presence, Oculus has an office in downtown Seattle.
The building are concentrated in a series of industrial office parks along Willows Road Northeast, just a couple miles north of Microsoft’s massive headquarters campus. Permits indicate that big chunks of space are dedicated to heavy research and development uses as well as testing.
BuildZoom notes that Oculus’ accelerated expansion has come after a sweeping 2017 pronouncement from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg that “we want to get a billion people in virtual reality.” Between Zuckerberg’s ambitious goal and the rapid expansion of Oculus’ research presence, expect to see a lot of new things coming out of the VR company in the coming years.
Oculus’ most recent major release is the Oculus Go, a $199 headset that doesn’t have to be tethered to a computer. GeekWire got a chance to try out the headset, and our thoughts on the device can be found here.