GIX Move to Spring District Cements Puget Sound as Tech Hotspot

The Microsoft-backed Global Innovation Exchange is officially moving to Bellevue, in the under-development Spring District. What a difference a few months makes. Back in April, Bellevue’s position as one of the tech reference points in the Puget Sound area was waning in the wake of Expedia’s announcement that it will move to a Seattle office campus. Now Bellevue has been announced as the future home of the GIX, a venture between the University of Washington and China-based Tsinghua University.

The Microsoft-backed Global Innovation Exchange is officially moving to Bellevue, in the under-development Spring District. What a difference a few months makes. Back in April, Bellevue’s position as one of the tech reference points in the Puget Sound area was waning in the wake of Expedia’s announcement that it will move to a Seattle office campus. Now Bellevue has been announced as the future home of the GIX, a venture between the University of Washington and China-based Tsinghua University.

The announcement validates Wright Runstad & Co.’s ambitious Spring District development project, an initiative aiming to turn an industrial area into a vibrant mixed-use community. When completed, the 36-acre Spring District would include office space, multifamily buildings, outdoor areas and a light-rail stop, in the vein of Portland’s Pearl District.

The $2.3 billion development project is now confirmed to house the The Spring District Global Innovation Exchange, which will be moving into a Spring District tower some time in 2017. GIX will take up roughly 100,000 square feet of space, and within a decade is projected to house as many as 3,000 students. GIX will become an important tech development spot in the Puget Sound area, one that will lend the area even more credibility as a tech market. The area doesn’t currently benefit from the same level of educational support as other tech meccas, such as Boston and San Francisco.

Microsoft support was essential in the selection of GIX’s new home. The fact that the Spring District will have a light-rail stop on a line that also stops in the vicinity of Microsoft’s Richmond headquarters played a major part in the decision.

Image courtesy of thespringdistrict.com.