Airbnb is expanding in Seattle in a big way – moving out of temporary office space to a downtown building with enough space for 300 employees.
The San Francisco tech company, which operates a marketplace for short-term lodging, will occupy two floors, or 40,000 square feet, of the 8th + Olive building downtown.
Airbnb opened a Seattle engineering office one year ago in the Westlake location of co-working space WeWork. The local team has since grown to 50 people, and will move into the new office space by the end of the year.
Airbnb is the latest company from the Bay Area to invest heavily in the Seattle market, capitalizing on Seattle’s deep talent pool of software engineers.
Google and Facebook have the largest Puget Sound-area satellite presences of the Silicon Valley tech giants, and are joined by Salesforce, Apple, Snap and others.
Airbnb’s Seattle team focuses on three areas of technology, said Airbnb Vice President of Engineering Mike Curtis, including building technology to support customer service, infrastructure engineering, and Air-bnb’s messaging service that allows renters to talk to property owners.
The idea is to build whole products in the Seattle office so the team has ownership over what it works on every day, Curtis said.
Airbnb does not have an exact timeline for how quickly it will grow to 300 people, Curtis said, but the company is currently hiring engineers, product managers, data scientists and designers.
Seattle is Airbnb’s fourth engineering office and 19th office overall for the company of 3,000 employees. Airbnb also has engineering hubs in San Francisco, Portland and Beijing.
The downtown office is led by Ari Steinberg, who also led the launch of Facebook’s Seattle office seven years ago. Steinberg then founded trip-planning startup Vamo, which was acquired by Airbnb in 2015.
The 8th + Olive building was renovated in 2015, and also houses legal technology company Avvo.
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