“D.C. is growing as a place to attract new tech talent,” said Rachel Holt, Uber’s regional general manager for the East Coast. And the hope is that the company will become what Holt terms a “foundational company” in D.C.’s evolution into a tech hub. The 55,000-square-foot offices are a sign of the company’s commitment to the city, she added.
Much to the dismay of the taxicab industry, D.C. has been one of Uber’s fastest-growing markets and its legislators have been among the most hospitable to the app-based ride service. After initial resistance when the company launched here in 2012, the D.C. Council went on to pass legislation in 2014 that was hailed by company officials as a model for other cities grappling with how to deal with the tech upstart. The effort likely was helped by the company’s massive lobbying efforts — something with its growing D.C. presence, will likely continue. Uber’s lobbying efforts also was seen as key to pushing back against initial resistance when it launched service in Virginia.
And the company continues to roll out new products in D.C. It recently launched its UberPool service in D.C.
In its new home on Rhode Island Avenue in Dupont Circle, it turns out, Uber isn’t that far away from its original roots. From a second floor window at the new headquarters, visitors can see the ride-sharing giant’s original headquarters for which it paid the princely sum of $3,500 a month.
The space has an open feel. There are no formal offices and no cubicles; instead employees work along long desks. If they need privacy or have to hold a meeting, they can hunker down in conference rooms of various sizes scattered around each floor. In a nod to the District, each room bears the name of a D.C. landmark (Ben’s Chili Bowl anyone?) The decor has an industrial feel and the color scheme is simple grays, browns and blacks with splashes of purple and blue.
“It’s so nice to feel like we finally have a home,” Holt said.
Below are other shots from Uber’s new D.C. headquarters.
Uber has what it calls an “All Hands” space on the second floor where weekly meetings are held. The space also doubles as the office cafeteria.
The dress code is casual but there’s a coat rack with ties and blazers on the third floor just in case member of Uber’s Policy Team have to head to say, Capitol Hill.