The company has been growing quickly and has thousands of employees based in Washington state.

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Alaska Air Group is growing its home base in the shadow of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

The parent of Alaska Airlines on Thursday broke ground on a 128,000-square-foot office building across the street from its existing corporate headquarters in the city of SeaTac, just southeast of the airport. The building, which will sit next to Alaska’s flight training center, will have room for about 600 employees and is scheduled for completion in early 2020.

Alaska had acquired the 6.8-acre site on International Boulevard, which housed the former Sandstone Inn, in January for about $32 million.

CEO Brad Tilden said in a statement that staff at Alaska Air Group, which recently acquired Virgin America, has grown 76 percent in the last five years. The company now totals 22,000 employees, including about 7,700 in Washington state.

Gov. Jay Inslee was among the dignitaries on hand for a ceremonial shoveling of the dirt before construction formally begins in July. Demolition of the old motel is already underway.

The new building, being called “The Hub,” will also include a parking garage and company store. It will serve as a recruiting base and uniform fit center, and will house operations employees for both Alaska and Horizon Air, as well as the company’s e-commerce team and some IT workers. The company plans to pay for a new pedestrian crossing, between its two offices, across busy International Boulevard.