The new offices of VIce Media on South Second Street in Williamsburg. Keith Bedford for The Wall Street Journal

Vice Media, the online-content company that has grown into an international symbol of hipness along with its home base of Williamsburg, is doubling the size of its presence in the Brooklyn neighborhood.

The company's move to a 60,000-square-foot former industrial building at South Second Street and Kent Avenue will allow it to add 525 employees to its 400 who now work in Williamsburg, where it is one of the largest tech and creative employers. Three-quarters of its workers live in the neighborhood, the company said.

"Brooklyn is our home and we're already hard at work developing a freaky, space-age utopia that will give today's creative visionaries a place to produce astonishing stories…," a spokesman said.

Founded in 1994 in Montreal as a punk magazine, Vice moved to Brooklyn in 1999 and has been in Williamsburg since 2001. Employees recall that they shared the neighborhood back then with drug dealers and frequented a bar that sold $1 beers out of a former payday-loans store.

Around 2004, the company leased a small industrial space on North 10th Street between Wythe Avenue and Berry Street for about eight employees. Since then, it gradually has consumed much of the space on its side of the block. This year alone, Vice has moved into a former bus depot and the former Beacon's Closet thrift store space. It now occupies 30,000 square feet of space.

The area around them has been transformed. Today, Vice's offices sit across from the Wythe Hotel, where rooms can rent for around $500 a night.

The company, run by co-founders Shane Smith and Suroosh Alvi, is set to receive $6.5 million in state tax incentives if it meets its jobs target. Recently, Etsy, an online site where people buy and sell artisanal goods, received a similar state incentive to grow into a 200,000-square-foot space in the Dumbo neighborhood of Brooklyn.

Vice recently opened a 20,000-square-foot office in Los Angeles with about 50 employees. State officials said the tax credit was aimed at ensuring the company expands in New York instead of on the West Coast.

Shane Smith, co-founder and chief executive officer of Vice Media Inc., left, speaks during the TechCrunch Disrupt NYC 2014 conference in New York in May. Bloomberg News

"They and Etsy are emerging as some of the largest private-sector employers in the borough," said Kenneth Adams, president and chief executive of Empire State Development Corp., the state's main economic-development agency. "What's emerging is a new and vibrant private sector economy with thousands of jobs in these tech fields. It is the slow emergence of a private-sector economy on the back of an industrial waterfront community."

Employees are crammed into Vice's current space elbow-to-elbow at long tables, like students studying for final exams. The company has filled any available nook with rooms for editing videos, a growth area for Vice.

Vice's new headquarters will be across from the Domino Sugar Factory on Williamsburg's less-developed south side. The company should have a chance to create a headquarters that befits its more polished profile compared with its startup days. Company officials estimated the renovation could cost in the range of $15 million.

The company now has two screening rooms with six to eight seats. In its new space, it envisions an auditorium with seating for 75 to 100 people, production facilities and an expanded, 24-hour newsroom as the company looks to create more original journalism.

Even in the expanded space, Vice is allocating less than half the space per employee that companies have typically allowed. A spokesman said that employees are often out on assignment and don't need to be in the office frequently.

Last year, Vice raised $70 million by selling a 5% stake to 21st Century Fox. Until last summer, 21st Century Fox was part of News Corp, the company that owns The Wall Street Journal.

Vice operates 36 offices world-wide. Many of the new jobs will be in video production, where Vice has been expanding since 2006. It now operates a news channel, a sports channel and one dedicated to global electronic music. In 2013, it launched an HBO news show called "VICE."

Write to Laura Kusisto at