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Microsoft announces ambitious move to rebuild 500 acres Seattle HQ

30 November 2017, 01:39 | Gina Pena

An aerial view of the Microsoft campus and X buildings in 2007

An aerial view of the Microsoft campus and X buildings in 2007

However, it's time to grow and invest more to upgrade it so that it can become the best workplace for the 47,000 Microsoft employees who work there.

Once the project is completed, Microsoft's total Redmond footprint will consist of 131 buildings and the equivalent of 180 football fields of new and renovated space. Microsoft has been at the campus for 30 years; it now has 125 buildings there. "As Microsoft continues to create the tools and services that are shaping the future of work, we can't think of a better time to modernize our campus into a model of ingenuity and innovation", explained Smith. It says its project will include renovations and new construction and will take five to seven years. Further, Smith told GeekWire that the company does not intend to offload any of its downtown Bellevue space or vacate the offices in Issaquah, where it recently renewed a big lease. As 18 new buildings would be constructed on the Microsoft Redmond Campus, 12 older buildings would be bulldozed.

While the redevelopment announced Tuesday will also feature underground parking and vehicle infrastructure, it will be built "with the automated vehicles of the near-future in mind", according to another Microsoft blog post on the project. Now, we can add Microsoft to the growing list of companies looking to spruce up their campus. However, with the new buildings, the company plans to take a different approach.

Steve Ballmer plunging into Lake Bill on the Microsoft campus in an undated
Steve Ballmer plunging into Lake Bill on the Microsoft campus in an undated

The developer of the Spring District, by the way, is Wright Runstad, which back in 1986 built the first six X-shaped buildings that will be replaced as part of this latest renovation.

Microsoft's campus revamp is not the only effort to create an urban feel in the Seattle suburbs along the route of the new light rail line.

The company embarked on its last major campus expansion in 2006, shortly after it signed a 20-year development agreement with the city of Redmond that allowed it to add an additional 2.2 million square feet of space. Having been the bane of many Microsoft employee for their confusing corridors, it's unlikely they'll be missed.

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