Photo: Daniel X. O’Neil/Flickr
In advance of their big move from Bellevue to Seattle in a few years, Expedia is testing out work life on the Seattle waterfront. The company announced that it secured a three-year lease for 38,000 square feet of space at 645 Elliott, an office space close to where Expedia will open its official new headquarters in 2019. Up to 300 employees will move into the temporary space as part of Expedia’s “test and learn” strategy.
“We’re a test and learn culture at our very core,” Expedia Head of Communications Sarah Gavin said in a statement reported by Geekwire. “Just like we run thousands of tests across our product, engineering and marketing teams every year, we apply the same test and learn philosophy to our relocation efforts to understand how our employees and our broader community will experience our new headquarters. Leasing office space in Seattle is an example of just one of these tests that we’re running prior to our move to Seattle in 2019.”
Expedia plans to move it’s corporate headquarters from Bellevue to the 40-acre Amgen campus, a large site about three miles from the central Seattle waterfront. The site was purchased by Expedia for $229 million last year. The online travel company expects to have around 4,500 employees working in the new building. The savory Seattle location is intended to attract more top tech talent from around the country.
At the end of 2015, Expedia completed a $1.6 billion dollar acquisition of Orbitz and a $3.9 billion acquisition of HomeAway. About 75 percent of the Expedia’s current employees live on the Eastside and 25 percent on the Seattle side, Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told Geekwire. The average commute will be longer by 5 or 6 minutes, based on Expedia’s studies, he said. Perhaps this temporary site on Elliot Bay is an opportunity to test out that traffic jam vibe. With 4,500 new workers commuting to the Seattle waterfront location, hopefully we will see some of that voter approved $930 million Move Seattle Levy put to good work on city transportation infrastructure in the area.