- Software giant Microsoft is getting ready to launch a major redevelopment of its 500-acre Redmond, WA, headquarters in an initiative that is expected to cost billions of dollars, TechCrunch reported.
- According to Microsoft, construction will take five to seven years and will see the demolition of 12 existing buildings to make way for the addition of 18 new buildings, many of which will be twice as tall as their predecessors, Bloomberg reported. The revamp will give Microsoft, according to GeekWire, a net square-footage increase of approximately 1.3 million square feet and make room for 8,000 additional workers.
- The company will also build a two-acre public plaza, pedestrian zones, sports fields and a sky bridge connecting the campus across a state highway, along with $150 million in transportation infrastructure improvements. The redevelopment is expected to be completed around the time Seattle's Sound Transit is scheduled to open a new light-rail link to Redmond.
In its announcement, Microsoft made a point of stating that the company would "grow right here at home," perhaps in reference to internet retailing giant Amazon — another Seattle-area company — and its quest to find a location for a second North American headquarters.
Last month, an assortment of almost 240 cities, states and regions submitted their bids to host the company's new $5 billion HQ2. Amazon is currently evaluating the proposals, with some media outlets like Curbed Chicago reporting that the company has boots on the ground and is touring potential sites. There's been no hint from company executives thus far as to any favorites, but many bidders have offered up massive tax breaks and other incentives in order to lure Amazon in their direction.
Both Microsoft and Amazon are part of a growing list of tech companies expanding their capacities "at home" in their existing headquarters, and elsewhere as they expand their operations. Google, too, joins that list. The company's first phase of its new $131 million Boulder, CO, campus is wrapping up construction, with employees expected to begin the move-in process next month.
After months of hype and hours of drone video, Apple's long-awaited "spaceship" campus opened earlier this year. It's unclear what the company ultimately paid for its new 2.8-million-square-foot tech park, but the structure is certainly no less revolutionary than Apple's original iPhone was for its time.