Convoy inks 123,000 square-foot lease in downtown Seattle and reveals return-to-office plan – GeekWire

Convoy inks 123,000 square-foot lease in downtown Seattle and reveals return-to-office plan – GeekWire

Convoy inks 123,000 square-foot lease in downtown Seattle and reveals return-to-office plan – GeekWire

Inside Convoy’s current HQ at Century Square in Seattle. (GeekWire Photo / Taylor Soper)

Some companies are looking to reduce their physical office footprint with the shift to remote work. Seattle startup Convoy is doing the opposite.

The company just inked a new sublease for 123,000 square feet of space across three floors at the Russell Investments Center skyscraper in downtown Seattle. That’s up from the 73,000 square foot space at its current headquarters down the street at Century Square.

Convoy is one of the highest-valued privately held startups in the Seattle region. The company, backed by the likes of Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Marc Benioff and others, operates a digital freight network that matches shippers with truck drivers. It raised $400 million at a $2.7 billion valuation in November 2019 and employs more than 1,000 people at offices in Seattle and Atlanta.

Convoy is leasing two of its floors at the 42-story Russell Investments Center from Zillow Group, which now occupies 14 floors in the building and has no additional plans to sublease more space. The real estate giant is implementing a new distributed workforce model as a result of the pandemic.

The third floor is being subleased from hiring company Indeed.

Convoy’s new lease comes as questions swirl about the future of downtown Seattle, which was largely deserted when companies sent employees home at the outset of the pandemic.

In June, Geekwire surveyed a handful of tech company leaders about their return-to-office plans in downtown Seattle. Some have ditched their leases and shifted employees to full remote work, and others remain concerned with crime and homelessness. But many remain committed to downtown and are excited to return and be part of the revitalization process.

Rising COVID-19 cases are causing some companies to delay their back-to-office returns. Seattle-based Expedia Group said Wednesday that it will allow full remote work until early next year. Expedia’s decision follows a similar announcement from Amazon last week.

Convoy on Thursday shared its return-to-office plans, which is centered around a hybrid model that does not require a minimum number of days in office.

“We recognize that as life starts to get back to normal, the right mix of remote and in-office will vary for each individual,” Convoy President Mark Okerstrom said in a blog post. “Teams will have specific days of the week set aside for in-office collaboration, meetings, team events or to simply connect and be present with each other.”

The company has also created “remote eligible” roles for employees not based in Seattle or Atlanta.

Convoy said it will sublease its current Century Square space to another tenant as it moves to the new HQ.

Editor’s note: Details about Convoy’s sublease were added to this story. 

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