Robinhood goes small with 24K sf office lease in Bellevue

After fintech firm backed out of 53K sf lease in Kirkland, it joins downsizing trend

Robinhood Goes Small With 24K sf Office Lease in Bellevue
Robinhood Markets' Baiju Bhatt and Vladimir Tenev with 500 Bellevue Way NE in Bellevue (Robinhood, Loopnet)

Robinhood Markets has leased a 24,200-square-foot office in Bellevue – half its planned outpost into the Seattle region before a series of worker layoffs.

The Menlo Park, Calif.-based stock trading platform leased offices in the 31-story Lincoln Square South tower at 500 Bellevue Way NE, the Puget Sound Business Journal reported, citing Savills. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The lease from the undisclosed landlord is indicative of a broader trend to lease smaller offices across the region, according to a Savills fourth-quarter report.

The move comes after plans by Robinhood to move into a 53,000-square-foot office in Kirkland fell through. 

In early 2021, the Silicon Valley fintech firm announced plans to expand into the Seattle area and leased the Kirkland mass-timber building before the plan fizzled out the next year. Game maker Electronic Arts took the offices instead.

Robinhood, founded in 2013, offers a commission-free investing platform, as well as a debit card, crypto trading and a retirement savings product. It went public in 2021.

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In 2022 and last year, it initiated rounds of layoffs. The company also faced criticism in early 2021 when it halted trading of GameStop, AMC and other volatile stocks after the Reddit board WallStreetBets pushed to make the stocks surge in the face of heavy shorting.

Robinhood lists 17 job openings in the Seattle area in design, engineering and finance, according to its website. The firm has more than 130 employees in the region, according to its LinkedIn page.

The office availability rate in the Seattle area was 25.9 percent in the three months ending in December, according to the Savills report. Availability in Seattle’s central business district was 28.5 percent, and 23.2 percent in Bellevue’s central business hub.

“The number of deals has been less affected compared to the size of the space leased,” Savills said. “There’s a growing inclination among tenants towards smaller spaces, particularly in the Eastside, underscoring a strategic shift in leasing preferences.”

— Dana Bartholomew

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