Microsoft to Spend Billions Modernizing Redmond Campus

Randall Craig
November 30, 2017

Amazon is now searching for "HQ2", a separate, but equal headquarters to rival Seattle's. A redesign and expansion a decade ago began to change that, with an emphasis on open floor plans and flexible, collaborative spaces, but the auto was still king-as evidenced by a 5,000-spot underground parking garage that underpinned the company's last big expansion, begun a decade ago. Instead, the firm envisions the new campus as a place filled with open spaces and plenty of light. It expects the project will create 2,500 construction and development jobs.

Microsoft's local commitment, however, remains.

The company said in a blog post that the new look campus will be the equivalent of 180 football fields, creating enough extra room to add 8,000 new employees to its current 47,000 workforce.

Work on the campus overhaul will begin in fall 2018 and is expected to last up to seven years. "Neighboring a vibrant urban core, suburban towns, lakes, mountains, and miles of forest, it's one of Microsoft's crown jewels".

"Our goal is to build the most modern workplace and create the best employee experience in our industry I think in the world", said Microsoft President Brad Smith. There are also plans for a local light rail to take workers to and from locations around the campus.

Microsoft New Campus
A render of Microsoft's new

Microsoft faces steep competition to recruit and keep employees as other tech giants continue to grow in the region and new, hip startups pop up every day. As 18 new buildings would be constructed on the Microsoft Redmond Campus, 12 older buildings would be bulldozed.

Our new buildings will focus on inclusive design and accessible technology to empower all of our employees.

The plan seeks to demolish up to 12 buildings and make room for an additional 18, which will also be taller (four floors, as opposed to two or three) and be based around more open spaces, meant to encourage collaboration between colleagues. A bridge across WA-520, which will link both sides of its campus, will be for cyclists and walkers only. They have already contributed more than $33-million toward the construction of a Sound Transit Station in Redmond. It will be the company's biggest physical expansion in more than a decade.

Microsoft's video shows how the campus will develop and what it will feature. Elsewhere underground, the heat thrown off by cloud computing servers could be repurposed for food-growing programs.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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