Apple in Seattle

Two Union Square in downtown Seattle, where Apple expanded its engineering presence in the city. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota)

Apple is significantly expanding its downtown Seattle engineering center, giving itself enough capacity for potentially close to 500 people across five floors inside one of the city’s tallest skyscrapers, GeekWire has learned.

The expansion by the secretive tech company is the latest sign of the ferocious competition for tech talent in the Seattle region, where fellow tech titans Amazon, Microsoft, Google and Facebook all have larger footprints.

Apple is preparing to move into another floor at Two Union Square, a 56-story office tower in downtown Seattle, giving it all or part of five floors of the building, GeekWire has learned through permitting documents and visits to the building. The latest move brings Apple to more than 70,000 square feet, which equates to room for somewhere between 350 and 475 people, based on standard corporate leasing ratios for tech companies.

With these moves, Apple is following through on a plan to expand its Seattle presence, first reported by GeekWire last year.

These key card readers are among the few hints to Apple’s presence at Two Union Square in downtown Seattle. (GeekWire Photo / Nat Levy)

Apple established its first formal engineering office in Seattle with its 2014 acquisition of Union Bay Networks. A year later, it leased a floor and a half at Two Union Square. In 2016, Apple acquired machine learning startup Turi, establishing the office as a hub for developing artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies.

The competition for artificial intelligence talent is especially intense. Facebook recently poached a highly regarded AI researcher from the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, which is in the midst of a major expansion of its own. Microsoft is also doubling-down on AI as part …read more

Source:: GeekWire


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