Facebook grows in Bellevue’s Spring District

BELLEVUE, Wash. — Facebook leased another new building in Bellevue’s Spring District, increasing its footprint in the greater Seattle area to 3.3 million square feet of office space. Facebook reported about half of that space is in Bellevue.

The tech giant was looking for a place to create a campus environment. It stated the Spring District is the perfect fit.

“We are really excited because not only is it the space, it is also creating that campus feel. If you look at Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, we have this campus. We call it the classic campus,  and it’s amazing. It’s a lot of buildings together. You can walk outside. You can do impromptu gatherings. There are food stalls and things. And so we wanted to recreate that kind of campus feel in Bellevue,” said Rajeev Rajan, vice president of engineering and head of Facebook for the Pacific Northwest.

Facebook had already leased space in buildings nearby, and purchased the REI Headquarters building. The latest lease is for Block 5, an 11-story building just across the street. It will house 345,000 square feet of office space.

Matthew Gardner, the chief economist at Windermere Real Estate,  thinks it is a move to attract new talent and create a presence on both sides of Lake Washington.

“I’m seeing the campus there more like a traditional campus — unlike what they have in Seattle — and looking to the Eastside more to attract new talent that may be based on the Eastside that doesn’t want to come across the bridge to Seattle,” said Gardner.

When it comes to commuting, the light rail arrives in 2023, and there’s a station on the campus.

For Bellevue Mayor Lynne Robinson, it is exactly what she hoped would happen.

“It just kind of validates all the work we’ve done preparing for this. We planned to have this kind of expansion and business, and it’s exactly where we want to have it. So I’m really excited,” said Robinson.

Facebook has more than 7,000 jobs in the greater Seattle area, the next biggest site for Facebook outside of Menlo Park, California.

“It speaks to the level of talent, the depth and breadth of talent that we have in the region,” said Rajan.