As the Big Tech epidemic grows, so does Seattle.
He said there is also a “desire to improve diversity” by establishing a presence in cities such as Atlanta, Miami and Washington, which have large populations of blacks and Hispanics, who are under-represented in technology. Mr Yasukochi said there were some tech jobs in Chicago, for example, and college students who wanted to work in the industry had to move to other cities after graduation. But that is changing. The offices of Google, Facebook and Amazon are now there.
Diane Crocker, principal analyst at Lightbox, said tech companies providing data and software for the real estate industry are moving to places where there is talent instead of moving people to a handful of cities.
Still, the Seattle area, home to Amazon, Expedia, Microsoft and Xello, has been the biggest beneficiary. Most of the area’s new leases are in the nearby towns of Redmond, Kirkland and Bellevue, just east of Seattle across Lake Washington.
Mr Yasukochi said downtown Seattle was “close to expanding capacity”, but there was scope for companies to expand in the so-called East Side. Some businesses are building mini-campuses, and some are moving toward new developments, such as the Bellevue Spring District.
Microsoft is adding 17 buildings and 8,000 employees to its headquarters in Redmond, 15 miles northeast of Seattle. Amazon plans to add 25,000 workers to Bellevue.
This growth has also come from emerging technology sectors such as the commercial space industry, which has increased production and launches of satellites for communications and observation through companies such as Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’s successful Blue Origin spaceflight. Has increased thanks to About 40 businesses related to space, such as satellite manufacturers, employ more than 6,000 people in the Seattle area. Stan Schulz, managing director of Alliance Velocity, an aerospace advisory firm, said it had registered more than 1,000 open jobs in August.
“There is a real ‘space cluster’ of big companies, start-ups and venture capitalists,” he said.