Meta and Microsoft have decided to close their offices in Seattle and Bellevue, Washington, respectively. According to the Seattle Times, Facebook’s parent company, Meta, has announced that it will sublease its offices on Eighth Avenue North in downtown Seattle and Spring District in Bellevue. It has also stated that leases for other Seattle office buildings are being reviewed.
According to the Seattle Times, Facebook confirmed intentions to sublet its offices at the six-story Arbor Block 333 in downtown Seattle and the eleven-story Block 6 of the Spring District in Bellevue on Friday.
The social media behemoth based in Menlo Park, California, claimed to be reviewing contracts for more office buildings close to Seattle. A period of the economic cycle known as a “soft market” is one in which there are more sellers than buyers and prices are low.
Microsoft, on the other hand, has stated that it will not renew its lease at the 26-story City Center Plaza in Bellevue when it expires in June 2024. The move comes at a time when remote work and a slowing economy have been critical factors in reducing demand for office space in Seattle and elsewhere. Both companies have recently adopted remote work.
Meta fired 726 workers from the Seattle area in November. A spokeswoman for the social media behemoth claimed that the company’s shift toward remote labor served as the driving force behind the decisions. She continued by saying that the business also sought to be fiscally responsible. Currently, Meta employs almost 8,000 people in Seattle and has offices in 29 different buildings.
According to a Microsoft representative, the choice was made after the company’s continual examination of its real estate holdings.
The story claims that the two internet giants’ pronouncements have brought further bad news to Seattle’s office sector, which is already struggling owing to the slow return of remote office workers. Total office vacancy in downtown Seattle is now at a low 25%. Due to remote work, the vacant offices are only partially occupied. According to smartphone location data provided by Placer.ai to the Downtown Seattle Association, just 40% of the workers who were present in the region before the outbreak have been present since last summer.