Microsoft plans upgrade for Redmond headquarters

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It's unclear if Microsoft will actually add 8,000 new employees to its Redmond campus or use the expansion, in part, to consolidate some of its Puget Sound area employees in about 45 other buildings. Amazon has been looking at cities across North America for a spot to build a second headquarters that will be as big as its Seattle hub. Throughout its growth, the company has been committed to the region where its founders were born and bred. Pretty much every employee got their own office, a perk that helped Microsoft attract talent. The campus will be divided into "team neighborhoods".

Microsoft stated that the redevelopment of the campus would create over 2,500 new construction and development jobs.

Microsoft's local commitment, however, remains.

The company also secured a zoning change previous year that allows it to construct some buildings on the east side of its campus up to 10 stories tall, but it said it has no plans for that height now.

Microsoft announced Tuesday plans for a major expansion and modernization project at its Redmond campus, which would add 18 new buildings and replace 12 current buildings on its East Campus. "Neighboring a vibrant urban core, suburban towns, lakes, mountains, and miles of forest, it's one of Microsoft's crown jewels".

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"Our goal is to build the most modern workplace, and create the best employee experience in our industry", Microsoft President Brad Smith said.

The growth plan marks a continued shift away from the car-dependent campus of the last 30 years, made possible by the 2023 arrival of a light rail line that will make travelling to and from the campus without a vehicle easier than ever. Moving around campus will also become quite a bit easier, with the addition of an underground parking facility, as well as a foot- and cyclist-only bridge across WA-520 to connect both sides of campus. Under the plan, the company will tear down 12 of the buildings now used by employees and build 18 new facilities in their place that are expected to be up to twice as tall.

Microsoft has leases on office space in Bellevue and Issaquah. However, with the new buildings, the company plans to take a different approach.

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.

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