This month at Seattle Tech News: Google bets big on a Kirkland campus

Google introduced the next phase of its 760,000 square foot Kirkland urban development, and with it, put another stake in the ground for naps at office.

The company known for its work culture that encompasses ping-pong and sleep pods officially opened two buildings last week in suburban Seattle. Two more will be completed by 2025. “We believe it’s more important than ever to invest in our campuses,” Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, said in a statement.

That might seem like an odd statement to make right now, as many tech workers are avoiding a full return to offices. The investment is substantial: 9.5 billion dollars in the United States this year. About $100 million is earmarked for Washington state, where Google expansion to South Lake Union and add yet another site to Kirkland.

But Google is not alone in doing so. Tech giants have bought up a ton of space in the region…more than any other metropolitan area recently— in the hope that the perks of the office can lure workers off their couch.

Puget Sound’s 7,200+ Googlers Won’t Make It get a gig from Lizzo like their colleagues in the Bay Area. But one mini-cinema and dog lounge can influence the suburban set to spend more time IRL than the three days a week the business requires. Others might take a look at a fishing net and backpacks on a wall and want to head for the hills (and lakes).

But in Kirkland, the corporate talk is also about what happens outside the office. New apartment developments flank the Kirkland Urban campus. Dough Zone, Topgolf, a QFC, and a Shake Shack all beckon under the offices, along with lounges, a fitness center, and a preschool. The winding paths of adjacent Peter Kirk Park invite all those multicolored Google Bikes.

It is a development that “designed around the 18-hour day, where life doesn’t stop before, during or after work.” We’ll see if the office still fits into this day.

Bits and bytes. Carat helps black software engineers secure gigs, and now Serena Williams is helping the Seattle startup. Amazon makes a $30 million pledge for startups with underrepresented founders. And more proof we love to compost: Another green way to die has sprouted, this time in Auburn, with a carbon-neutral funeral offering. Her name? Earth.