(Bloomberg) — Alphabet Inc.’s Google is building a new campus near Seattle, increasing its presence in a region that is home to Amazon.com Inc. and Microsoft Corp.
Google bought a 10-acre plot close to its existing campus in Kirkland, Washington, and plans to use it to expand in the area, according to a memo sent to employees earlier this week that was seen by Bloomberg. Business Insider reported earlier on Friday that the company had bought an old car dealership in the area, citing property records. In July, Google paid $40 million for another piece of land nearby.
Even before the pandemic, tech firms had been looking to expand in the suburbs east of Seattle to be closer to where some of their employees live. Many have continued with those plans, even as the pandemic keeps offices closed and workers at home.
In Bellevue, just south of Kirkland, Facebook Inc. has bought and leased space at a new development called the Spring District. Seattle-based Amazon said in September that it signed new leases in Bellevue and would eventually employ 25,000 there, up from about 3,000 at the time.
The activity has been a bright spot for office landlords in the Puget Sound area. Vacancy rates in Bellevue and Kirkland were 6.1% and 4.6%, respectively, in the third quarter, according to a recent report from CBRE Group Inc. In downtown Seattle, the rate was 10%.
“This transaction deepens our commitment to being part of the Kirkland community over the long term, and will provide us with very valuable flexibility to accommodate the future growth of Google Kirkland,” a company executive wrote in the memo.