Meta and Microsoft have both decided to shut down their offices in Seattle and Bellevue, both in Washington. Meta, the company that owns Facebook, has told the Seattle Times that it will rent out its offices on Eighth Avenue North in downtown Seattle and in the Spring District in Bellevue. It has also been said that the leases for other office buildings in Seattle are being looked at.
The Seattle Times reported on Friday that Facebook had confirmed plans to sublease its offices in the six-story Arbor Block 333 in downtown Seattle and the eleven-story Block 6 of the Spring District in Bellevue.
The Menlo Park, California-based social media giant said it was reviewing contracts for more office buildings near Seattle. A “soft market” is a time in the business cycle when there are more sellers than buyers and prices are low.
On the other hand, Microsoft has said that when its lease at the 26-story City Center Plaza in Bellevue runs out in June 2024, it won’t renew it. The move comes at a time when more people are working from home and the economy is slowing down, which has made less people want to rent office space in Seattle and other places. Both companies recently started letting people work from home.
In November, Meta fired 726 people from the Seattle area. A spokeswoman for the social media giant said that the decisions were made because the company was moving toward remote work. She went on to say that the business also tried to be good with money. At the moment, almost 8,000 people work for Meta in Seattle, and the company has offices in 29 different buildings.
A Microsoft representative said that the decision was made after the company kept looking at the properties it owned.
The story says that the statements made by the two internet giants are more bad news for Seattle’s office sector, which is already struggling because of the slow return of workers who work from home. The number of empty offices in downtown Seattle has dropped to a low 25%. Because some people work from home, the empty offices are only partially filled. Placer.ai gave the Downtown Seattle Association information about the locations of people’s phones that showed that only 40% of the people who worked in the area before the outbreak have been there since last summer.