Google announces plans to double Kirkland campus
By RAECHEL DAWSON
Kirkland Reporter Reporter
March 13, 2013 · 5:30 PM
Gov. Jay Inslee, Kirkland Mayor Joan McBride, and officials from Google and SRM Development announced Tuesday evening plans to double Kirkland’s Google campus.
“This is something all of Washington should be celebrating,” said Inslee. “Kirkland is not just a label of Costco, it’s a great place to innovate.”
The new 180,000 square-foot building is set to finish in the spring of 2015 but construction with SRM Development may begin as early as late June. It will be placed at the formerly contaminated 5-acre Pace National Corporation site, adjacent to the current location.
Two buildings in an “L-shape” with two stories and two levels of underground parking will have, at minimum, a LEED Gold certification. But Dave Tomson, the development manager of SRM Development, said they are going to try to work with DLR Group, the architectural firm, to make LEED Platinum certification a possibility.
“The new site will be fun, whimsical and stimulating, but it will also have large investments in environmental responsibility,” said Chee Chew, the vice president of engineering at Google.
Whether it be eliminating 16,000 metric tons of carbon waste or designing a cafeteria with a bicycle powered milkshake machine - such as what the current building does - the new location will also be one of innovation.
“We’re focused on creating healthy work environments that help Googlers perform at their best every day and reflect our open and collaborative culture,” said a Google spokesperson in an email.
The expansion comes at a time when the City of Kirkland has its own plans of developing the Cross Kirkland Corridor for trail use. Tomson said they are working with the city to use the corridor to connect the current Google campus to the new one.
Mayor McBride said Google has been an exceptional corporate citizen since it arrived in 2009. The current campus holds 195,000-square-feet of office space and roughly 1,000 employees but upon construction of the new building, employees will likely double.
In 2012 alone, Google has hired hundreds of employees in the Puget Sound region.
Engineers in the Kirkland area have worked on high profile projects such as Google+, Cloud and Chrome. Some may say Chew’s leadership has made Kirkland’s campus a “hotbed for innovation and product development” for some of Google’s most popular and heavily used services.
Chew believes this is a great opportunity for the company and the surrounding community.
Since 2011, Google gave $4.5 million in grants throughout the region for programs in engineering research, the STEM education program and other nonprofits.
Statistics for 2011 indicate Google’s economic impact has reached $3.5 billion for Washington businesses, website publishers and nonprofits.
Contact Kirkland Reporter Reporter Raechel Dawson at email@example.com or 425-822-9166 X5052.