Safeco Chooses Seattle’s University District for Preferred Locale in Puget Sound-Area Consolidation

April 6, 2005

Safeco announced the selection of Seattle’s University District as its preferred location to consolidate the company’s Puget Sound-area operations. With the decision, Safeco eventually will bring together 3,200 employees on one campus.

“After reviewing all the people, economic and operational factors, we
found the benefits of consolidating in Redmond or Seattle to be roughly equivalent,” said Safeco Chairman and CEO Mike McGavick. “So, we chose the location where we believe we can do the greater good. With our selection of the U-District, we are honoring Safeco’s past and supporting a community that has been a part of our success for nearly 70 years.”

Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels called the decision an important moment for the city. “We are welcoming millions of dollars of investment and 1,600 new jobs to the city,” Mayor Nickels said. “This is a vote of confidence not only in Seattle, but in all the work we’ve put into revitalizing this great neighborhood. Safeco never gave up on the University District, and neither did we.”

Following the sale of Safeco’s life and investments operations in August 2004, the company began evaluating options for consolidation. The announcement of a preferred location represents the first step in what is expected to be a three-year regulatory and construction process.

To accommodate Safeco’s 1,350 Redmond-based employees and an anticipated 250 new positions over the next 10 years, the company plans to build an additional 260,000 square feet of office space around its existing headquarters complex in Seattle. Safeco has been a major business presence in the University District since 1936.

“We hope our planned investment in the U-District will be a source of
pride and serve as a catalyst to make the neighborhood even more vibrant, diverse and successful,” McGavick said.

Safeco’s Redmond employees will continue working on the campus there until construction in Seattle is complete sometime in 2008. The company does not intend to sell or lease its Redmond property until it is confident the necessary approvals can be secured to begin building in the U-District.

Safeco will make an official request to the Seattle City Council later
this month for zoning changes and required permits.

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.