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Expedia Announces Move Out Of Bellevue To Amgen Campus In Seattle

Elaine Thompson
AP Photo
A Bellevue building that houses online travel booking site Expedia. The company announced plans to move from downtown Bellevue to Seattle in late 2018.

Expedia will relocate its headquarters from its current home in downtown Bellevue to a waterfront campus in Seattle's Interbay neighborhood in late 2018.

Executives for the online travel site announced Thursday they've agreed to pay $228 million to purchase the 40-acre campus currently owned by biotech firm Amgen, which announced its plans to leave Seattle last summer. More than 3,000 employees currently work in Expedia's headquarters.

"Bellevue was a great home for us as well, but Seattle is a place where a lot of technology talent wants to live, so the Seattle address was certainly a positive," Expedia president and CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said at a press conference at Seattle City Hall.

The move is a loss for Bellevue. Roughly three in four Expedia headquarters employees currently live there or on the east side of Lake Washington, Khosrowshahi said.

But it's another win for Seattle, which also landed the headquarters for timber giant Weyerhaeuser last summer.

"Seattle's a great place to do business, whether it's our home-grown Amazon or Juno, locating here and growing here ... to Facebook making their second-largest operation here in the city of Seattle," Mayor Ed Murray said during the press conference.

Chief financial officer Mark Okerstrom says Expedia will take possession of the property at the beginning of 2016. Though the site comes with 750,000 square feet of existing space, Okerstrom says the company will need to construct another 200,000 square feet of space to accommodate a growing headquarters operation.

The company plans to expand its headquarters operation to more than 4,500 employees.

Expedia executives acknowledged working out viable transportation plans to the Interbay location — along the already-congested Elliott Avenue corridor — would be a top priority of the move. The site has parking for only 1,100 cars, and Khosrowshahi says the company is working on transit plans to aid employees in getting to work.

Kyle Stokes covers the issues facing kids and the policies impacting Washington's schools for KPLU.