By: Rachel Lerman
Puget Sound Business Journal
Facebook Seattle confirmed Wednesday it was moving its Seattle office to Dexter Station, a soon-to-be-completed office tower at 1101 Dexter Ave. N.
The interior of the company’s offices will be designed by Frank Gehry, a renowned architect known for designing landmarks such as the EMP Museum and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.
Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) will more than double its Seattle office footprint with the move. The company has signed a lease for 274,000 square feet in the building, with an option to lease an additional 62,000 square feet.
Facebook Seattle, which now has more than 500 employees and is growing rapidly, will relocate from its office in the Metropolitan Park East tower 1730 Minor Ave., in early 2016.
Gehry will design the feel and flow of the conference rooms, the outdoor decks, the full kitchen and the work spaces, said Facebook Seattle office lead Paul Carduner. Gehry designed a few other Facebook offices, including ones in Menlo Park, Calif., New York and London.
“Basically, their job is to make sure that when you walk into the space you just go ‘holy crap this is awesome,'” Carduner said.
Carduner confirmed the reported expansion news at a press event Wednesday.
Facebook is about to move onto two more floors in its current office in the Metropolitan Park East tower, meaning it will occupy six floors for a total of 96,000 square feet. But even with the additional floors, it’s feeling a bit like a sardine can for employees, Carduner said.
The new office will give the Menlo Park-based company room to massively expand its Seattle workforce.
“It gives us enough space for the next few years to grow to 2,000 employees,” Carduner said.
He noted that the company will not hire 1,500 people in one fell swoop, but will steadily increase the Seattle headcount over time.
Facebook will occupy almost all of the 340,000-square-foot Dexter Station building. The company hasn’t determined how many floors it will occupy in the building.
The Seattle office is already one of the largest Facebook offices outside Menlo Park, and it is the largest engineering office outside of Facebook’s headquarters.
Facebook’s expansion signals its investment and commitment in Seattle. The company is just one of several major Silicon Valley tech companies to establish and grow offices in Seattle in recent years, including Google, Twitter and Apple.
Carduner also discussed the projects the Seattle employees are working on, which include pieces of the Oculus virtual reality headset and video development.
Rachel Lerman covers technology and retail for the Puget Sound Business Journal.