ashington has long been home for many of the biggest and most influential companies in the world. Amazon, Microsoft, Starbucks, REI and Costco are just a few of the household-name behemoths who hang their shingle here.
But did you know that other companies frequently are either moving to Washington or expanding here? Since the start of 2018, no less than 30 companies have either moved their corporate headquarters to Washington or expanded their HQ in the Evergreen State. In some cases, like Costco, they’ve done it twice.
Not all are as well-known as the ubiquitous superstore, but they are no less impactful. Notable biotechnology firm Absci Corp. officially opened its new headquarters in Vancouver, Washington, in late 2021. The gleaming new $40 million facility boasts 80,000 sq. ft. and welcomed 180 new workers when it opened to the public at a ribbon-cutting led by Gov. Jay Inslee.
Like many biotech firms, Absci was born in the fertile soil of the Pacific Northwest. CEO Sean McClain started the company in 2011 in the Business Accelerator program of Portland State University. Five years later, Gov. Inslee recruited McClain to relocate Absci to Vancouver.
At the ribbon-cutting in November 2021, McClain credited Inslee with bringing the company to Washington. “You recognized early on the importance of our mission,” McClain said.
Starting Small, Growing Large
Washington does that a lot. Its leaders see the hidden potential in entrepreneurs and their ideas and then give them the support and encouragement they need to grow. Washington did this again in late 2021 when it worked with Zoominfo, the global leader in online meetings, to expand the company’s global headquarters in Vancouver.
In late September of that year, Zoominfo founder and CEO Henry Schuck announced that the firm had signed a lease to expand its HQ in the city by agreeing to take up 366,000 sq. ft. at Terminal 1. The move brought 1,500 jobs and $38 million in capital investment to the city.
“Vancouver is our home, and we’re proud to continue growing Zoominfo in our backyard,” said Schuck, who founded the firm in 2007 and then moved it to Vancouver in 2009. “Vancouver represents a thriving and growing technology hub filled with some of the nation’s top talent. Not only will we be able to further invest in our team, but we’ll also be able to further support our community with more innovation. Terminal 1 is the perfect fit for Zoominfo because it allows us to define new possibilities as we build out our new global headquarters to help shape the future of our company.”
Zoominfo has plenty of company in that regard. Seattle Sounders FC announced in early 2022 that it will move to a new corporate home in Renton in 2024. The venerable soccer franchise, long considered the gold standard of Major League Soccer for its prowess in winning titles and always competing at the upper echelon of the sport, is moving to Longacres, the former headquarters of Boeing Commercial Airlines. The new HQ and training facility will be developed in partnership with Unico Properties, which purchased the 158-acre tract from Boeing for a reported $100 million in 2021. Two Class A office buildings totaling 962,800 sq. ft. are on site, which also includes a daycare facility and 2,150 parking spaces.
The Sounders won the MLS Cup in 2016 and 2019 and the prestigious CONCACAF Champions Cup in 2022. They are perennially considered one of the favorites to win the championship of MLS.