Google has come a long way since first opening its doors in Kirkland 12 years ago.
On Tuesday, Google leadership along with Kirkland city officials and Gov. Jay Inslee celebrated the grand opening of their second campus, adjacent to the main campus in the Moss Bay neighborhood off of 6th Street South. The second campus is located on the other side of the Cross Kirkland Corridor where Google opened a $3 million recreational space consisting of a sand volleyball court, basketball court, Crossfit/TRX fitness section and zip line where the corridor runs between Google’s Kirkland campuses.
Officials who spoke during the grand opening ceremony praised the collaboration between Google and Kirkland, while Inslee highlighted the company’s contribution to economic growth in the state and the new campus’s environmental features. The campus property formerly had a chemical mixing and packaging plant, and following the 2012 environmental cleanup, the property developer SRMKII carried out a second cleanup to remove all traces of contamination below the state’s required level.
Kirkland Mayor Amy Walen reiterated her comparison of Google to having a Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene, a former Microsoft executive, emphasized Google’s “Girls Who Code” program.
The second campus will house 1,000 Googlers, including the engineering teams working on products like Android, Cloud and Chrome. The new building is 180,000 square feet, bringing the expanded Kirkland campus size to 375,000 square feet, and is constructed as a highly resource-efficient and sustainable building, targeting LEED platinum certification. For prospective employees, the campus’ amenities include a human-size nest and skylight, hideaway caves for people to rest, micro-kitchens, living roof deck and crepe-making room. The Googleplex, in comparison, takes up 3.1 million square feet of space. When the company first opened its doors back in 2004 it had six employees, who had been unwilling to move to California where the Googleplex is located.
Eleven years later, Google had 1,400 full-time employees in the state. Google first announced plans for a second campus three years ago.