Facebook Friends Austin

by CoyDavidson on April 30, 2010

Facebook opening Austin office in it’s first major U.S. expansion outside of California

Facebook plans to open on Monday a downtown office on West Sixth Street in Austin with about six employees and grow it to 200 during the next four years according to a report in the Austin Business Journal.

The California-based social media giant, which first confirmed its interest in Austin in late February, is establishing an office at 300 W. Sixth St. Company workers will initially occupy 21,000 square feet of the 23-story building, according to Facebook spokeswoman Sarah Smith.

Facebook will start with a six-person “landing team” of relocated employees, but plans to hire additional local workers for online sales, user operations, developer operations and risk management, Smith said

Built in 2001, 300 W. 6th Street is a 459,085 square foot Class A office building space located  on 6th sreet between Lavaca and Guadalupe at the crossroads of the prime commercial, retail, entertainment, and residential areas of Austin’s thriving Central Business District.

The 23-story building owned by Los Angeles based Thomas Properties Group reported an 86.8% occupancy rate prior to the Facebook lease announcement with a quoted annual rent of $27.00 per square foot on a triple net (NNN) basis.

Thomas Properties Group owns several Class A office projects in Houston including: San Felipe Plaza, Brookhollow Central I-III, CityWest Place and 2500 CityWest

While, a 21,000 square foot lease is not monumental, it is a huge coup for Austin to land such a high-profile company, particularly since it is Facebook’s first U.S. location outside of California. Austin sometimes referred to as “Silicon Hills” will garner a strengthened reputation as a technology hotbed as a result of the Facebook lease.

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  • This is great for Austin. I would be really interested to know what the search criteria used or main factors that narrowed Facebook’s selection down to Austin.

  • CoyDavidson

    John, if you are not that familiar with Austin, it’s really a no-brainer. I went to College there and spend quite a bit of time there. Demographics for sure. Major University and high concentration of technology employees which is the primary industry there other than the state government and the University of Texas. Austin is probably the second biggest technology cluster other than Silicon Valley in the U.S. Once the state and city of Austin kicked in incentives I doubt any other city had a chance to land facebook.

  • I did not know that and it is interesting. I would have picked Boston (sorry Austin). It really does come back to the educational facilities. The University of Waterloo is definitely a cornerstone to our tech cluster in this region (RIM, Open Text, Google). And competition is fierce for talent.

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