Update: Apple plans to grow to 2,000 employees in Seattle, adding 200 by the end of the year. Read our follow-up story from today’s press conference here.
It’s been six months since Apple said it would dramatically expand its Seattle operations, and it appears the tech giant has found a landing spot — right in Amazon’s backyard.
Apple real estate leaders will join Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan for a press conference Monday afternoon to announce further details on the company’s Seattle expansion. The event is at 333 Dexter, a South Lake Union office complex under construction that has been rumored for months to be the home of Apple’s major expansion. GeekWire will be on the scene, so stay tuned for more.
The project includes two 12-story office towers totaling 630,000 square feet. Using conventional office space ratios, the complex could hold approximately 3,000 to 4,500 workers, well beyond the more than 1,000 people Apple originally pledged to have to Seattle.
Apple’s move seriously increases competition for talent in the Seattle region and specifically South Lake Union, as the site is just blocks from Amazon’s headquarters campus and a rapidly growing outpost for Facebook.
Previous reports pegged Facebook to 333 Dexter, the site of the old KING 5 broadcasting headquarters.
In December, Apple announced a broad national expansion that included a $1 billion, 133-acre new campus in Austin, Texas, and significant growth in three other U.S. cities, including Seattle.
Apple’s initially revealed its expansion news in January 2018. It was largely overshadowed by the Amazon HQ2 search, the epic, year-long contest between cities that became one of the most visible and talked-about economic development deals of all time.
Apple’s growth in Seattle is the latest feather in the cap for the Seattle tech scene, which boasts homegrown giants such as Amazon and Microsoft, a growing list of prominent startups and more than 100 out-of-town companies that have engineering offices based in the area.
Amazon employs more than 45,000 in Seattle; Facebook has 3,000 employees with more to come; and Google is building a new campus in South Lake Union neighborhood, next door to Amazon, with room for thousands of additional employees.
Microsoft employs more than 51,000 people in Washington state, most of them at its Redmond headquarters.
Apple established its first formal engineering office in Seattle with its 2014 acquisition of Union Bay Networks. In 2016, Apple acquired machine learning startup Turi, establishing the city as its hub for developing artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies.
Since then, the company has been growing its presence at Seattle’s Two Union Square office tower. An expansion in the skyscraper last year gave Apple room for as many as 500 employees in the building.
Apple hasn’t said what projects the expanded Seattle outpost will focus on. In addition to AI, the Seattle office also works on iCloud. Apple’s job site lists 50 open positions, most of them focused on AI and Siri, Apple’s digital assistant.
The Puget Sound Business Journal previously reported that Apple planned to lease the 333 Dexter complex.