Vulcan, which owns the property and is developing the campus, expects to begin construction toward the end of 2019 and to finish in July 2021.
Google, already set to become one of Seattle’s biggest employers, is expanding again right in the heart of Amazon country.
The Silicon Valley tech giant is going to take over a new 12-story, 322,000-square-foot office tower planned at the prominent corner of Mercer Street and Westlake Avenue in South Lake Union, across the street from a large Google office development being built now.
Paul Allen’s Vulcan Real Estate, which built the majority of South Lake Union’s tech center – from Amazon’s headquarters to new Facebook offices to the Google project underway now – is handling the latest Google development as well, and announced the plans Tuesday.
The newest Google office, with construction costs estimated at $88.5 million, will replace a block of three buildings that includes the large Guitar Center store, Uptown Espresso and the brown Clements Rice office building. It will be separated by an alley from Amazon’s Wainwright building, which was part of the company’s first headquarters block that opened at the beginning of this decade.
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Already, Vulcan is building a four-building, 607,000-square-foot Google campus on the opposite side of Mercer Street. That project, on a former parking lot, also includes 151 apartments plus shops. It was announced in 2016 and is set to be completed in early 2019.
Apparently that was not enough space for Google, which has been hungry for tech talent in the Seattle area, an expensive market but one that’s still far cheaper for employees than its Mountain View headquarters in Silicon Valley. Google is also planning a big new office project in San Jose that will have enough room for 15,000 to 20,000 workers.
With the four office buildings already under construction in South Lake Union, Google was set to become one of the top five users of Class A office space in the city. The fifth building will only add to that total, giving Google nearly 1 million square feet total in South Lake Union.
Vulcan, which owns the property it plans to develop for the latest Google building, expects to begin construction on the fifth tower toward the end of 2019, and anticipates the project will be done in July 2021. It will also include ground-floor shops and four levels of underground parking for 343 vehicles.
Currently Google has 3,000 employees in the Seattle area, spread across locations in Fremont and Kirkland, up from 1,900 two years ago, according to the company. Google declined to say how many employees it expects will work in the South Lake Union campus, but with the latest building, it will have room for about 4,800 to 6,300 employees.
Google said two and a half years ago that it planned to leave its Fremont offices once the South Lake Union campus opens, but declined to say Tuesday if that’s still the case.
The tenants on the site where the buildings will be demolished have been notified but there are no plans yet for potential relocations.