Apple Said to Lease Office Space in Seattle Tower

Apple Inc. agreed to lease almost two floors of a downtown Seattle office skyscraper, joining other Silicon Valley companies expanding in the area, said two people with knowledge of the matter.

Apple would occupy the 44th floor and half the 45th at Two Union Square, a 56-story tower that’s Seattle’s third-tallest, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the lease details are private. The space totals about 30,000 square feet (2,800 square meters), or enough for 120 to 200 employees based on standard corporate leasing ratios.

Colin Johnson, a spokesman for Cupertino, California-based Apple, declined to comment on the lease.

The Seattle area’s talent pool and lower cost of living compared with the San Francisco Bay area has attracted many Silicon Valley companies. Facebook Inc. and Google Inc. are among the firms with outposts in the region, and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., which last year began renting space in downtown Seattle, is in talks for an office in nearby Bellevue.

Apple is making a bigger push into cloud-computing services to compete with companies including Seattle-based Amazon.com Inc., Google and Microsoft Corp. Apple opened its first engineering office in Seattle last year, built around a group of employees working on network infrastructure, the Seattle Times reported in November. They had worked at Union Bay Networks, a cloud-computing startup near Google’s Seattle office in the Fremont neighborhood.

Apple has added more than 9,000 employees in the past year, bringing its worldwide headcount to about 115,000. The company currently is building a new corporate campus in Cupertino.

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