There’s much more to Isilon’s move to Pioneer Square than its flashy new building: 200 jobs more, to be precise. All of the office space at 505 First Avenue South will soon be filled with 200 new employees in the next fifteen months, a sign that parent company EMC sees Seattle as a “Center for Excellence” for cloud-based storage of big data.
The jobs come at a time when the state jobless picture remains sluggish with the state’s unemployment rate at 9.1 percent for September, only slightly better than August’s 9.3 percent unemployment rate.
Along with the good news of more jobs, Isilon and parent company EMC formally announced its new location in Pioneer Square, further encapsulating the area as a tech center for innovation. Making the announcement was Isilon founder Sujal Patel, who sold his company to storage giant EMC for $2.25 billion in 2010. Also attending were EMC Chairman and CEO Joe Tucci, and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn.
The 200 new jobs over the next fifteen months signals a big investment in Seattle, said Tucci, adding that EMC sees Seattle as a hub for data storage and cloud computing technology, with both Amazon.com and Microsoft as major players, along with Seattle’s excellent talent pool. “Bringing Isilon into the EMC family was a tremendous coup for us, but I think an equally tremendous coup will be how we can expand here in greater Seattle and tap into the talent, the connections that Isilon has with the University of Washington…it will be a double win for us.” EMC said the hiring will increase Isilon’s Seattle team by 75 percent since the December acquisition.
Isilon helps government agencies and companies manage, store and leverage big data, from retailers to pharmaceutical companies. The specialized tech segment is becoming more and more cloud-based. The company’s rapid growth is significant for Pioneer Square, one of Seattle’s historic neighborhoods that is now emerging as a tech hub. Mayor McGinn said he expects that trend to continue as the North Lot Development and other development projects begin, bringing residents, consumers, and businesses into a transforming Pioneer Square.
In regards to why Isilon picked their location, Patel said that Pioneer Square is “a base of innovation and of startups within the community, it’s a vibrant area that’s undergoing a revitalization, and it’s an area with a lot of life and activity…Pioneer Square has an ideal mix of space availability, great neighborhood, accessibility with respect to transportation options…and it really formed the ideal base for us to plant a flag for many, many years to come.”
EMC Isilon’s choice of Pioneer Square illustrates the importance and success of the city’s investments through the Seattle Jobs Plan and the Pioneer Square Revitalization Strategy, which aims to create welcoming environments for innovative companies to grow and compete.
View the full press conference on the Seattle Channel.