Apple is planning a major expansion of its Seattle presence.
Apple and Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced Monday that the tech giant will be opening a 635,000-square-foot office in the Washington city this year and will hire 2,000 employees over the next five years. The company plans to add 200 jobs by the end of 2019.
Standing at 333 Dexter Avenue Monday afternoon, in front of Apple‘s emerging Seattle campus, the company’s Vice President of Global Real Estate and Development Kristina Raspe detailed Apple’s plans.
“Today we are thrilled to share that our ambitions have grown,” she said. “In addition to the 500 plus employees that we already have here in Seattle, within the next five years we plan to add an additional 2,000 employees, doubling our initial goal.”
Durkan acknowledged that adding 2,000 jobs in the downtown area will put a strain or transit and housing costs, but she didn’t offer any news about how the city might accommodate the growth.
“Apple’s footprint in Seattle is another example of the growing opportunity that exists for residents of Seattle and the economic powerhouse our city has become, yet we know that as Seattle continues to grow, we must act urgently to address the pressures that follow — from tackling affordability to new affordable housing to increasing transit,” Durkan said at the press conference.
The news of Apple’s expansion adds to Seattle’s firmly entrenched reputation as a tech hub. The city already serves as headquarters for Amazon, with its 45,000 local employees, and it also is home to many of Microsoft’s 51,000 employees based in nearby Redmond.
Google is expanding its Seattle presence as well, and the city is home to a growing list of prominent startups in many technical and engineering fields.
Apple unveiled plans for the Seattle office in December as part of a $1 billion USD investment in new offices in San Diego and Culver City coupled with expansions of existing offices in Austin, Pittsburgh, New York and Boulder, Colorado.