A few weeks ago, The Observer first broke the news that eBay closed a deal for the entire third floor of 625 Avenue of the Americas at 18th Street to use it as an outpost for Hunch, the recommendation engine that eBay purchased last November. The company finally made the announcement official today and the Verge has some details. The 35,000 square foot space will house an R&D lab staffed by more than 200 developers, as well as big data scientists. Hunch cofounder and investor Chris Dixon will run the show.
The goal is to rival Google as one of the top employers for engineers in New York City. Expect hackathons and free coworking space for startups that qualify as “friends of eBay,” as well as showcases about the future of commerce for PayPal, another eBay property. Corporations like AOL and Microsoft both came forward today to promote their nimble startup incubators, which might be why Mr. Dixon seemed a mite touchy about eBay’s new lab. ”Don’t call it an incubator,” Mr. Dixon told the Verge. “That term is pretty loaded these days.”