Alaska Airlines has opened and moved into “The Hub,” its gleaming new 128,000-square-foot building near Sea-Tac Airport.
The Hub sits directly across the street from Alaska Air Group’s longtime corporate headquarters and adjacent to its flight training center.
The new facility features Boeing 737 blueprints painted on its cement walls, an Alaska Airlines merchandise store, reclaimed wood and high ceilings.
The corporate campus-themed environment includes office space for about 600 Alaska employees in technology, the airline’s operations center and other key functions for the SeaTac-based airline, the West Coast’s largest carrier.
Teri Sato, Alaska’s general manager of corporate real estate, gave the Business Journal an insider’s look at The Hub.
The facility, which the airline launched after six years of planning, includes a 820-space parking garage complex, landscaped paths and other improvements, including a center where staffers go for uniform fittings.
Alaska broke ground on the 6.8-acre site in 2018 after acquiring the property in January 2018 for $32 million. The facility is part of a longer-term plan to add several new buildings to the area. The project at the time was code-named Project Copper River.
When Alaska CEO Brad Tilden turned the first shovel of dirt for the six-story building two years ago, the airline was completing its $2.6 billion takeover of Virgin America and its workforce was growing to hit 23,000 employees.
Sideswiped by the global pandemic, Alaska and other U.S. airlines are now facing steep losses and a dramatic drop in passenger demand after statewide stay-at-home orders and international travel bans. Alaska President Ben Minicucci recently told employees that the airline may need to cut 3,000 jobs to help reduce its costs.
Earlier Monday, Alaska said in an investor update that the airline has returned 40 of its 156 previously grounded aircraft to service in June after officials saw that early signs of recovery began to emerge during May “as passenger traffic began to increase with fewer cancellations and an increase in new bookings.”
Tilden said the facility would be a warm, welcoming space for all Alaska employees and visitors.
The architect for the project was global architecture firm NBBJ, which has a Seattle office. The general contractor was Howard S. Wright (a Balfour Beatty company), the development manager was the Seneca Group and the real estate adviser was Kinzer Partners.