At a time when space is at a premium and many companies are looking for room to grow, Micorsoft recognizes that its 500-acre campus in Redmond, Washington, is a unique asset. Neighboring a vibrant urban core, suburban towns, lakes, mountains and miles of forest, it’s one of Microsoft’s crown jewels. And as the company continues to grow and looks to create the best workplace in the tech sector, Microsoft will invest in Redmond, Washington, its home for more than 30 years.
Next fall, Microsoft will break ground on a multi-year campus refresh project that will include 18 new buildings, 6.7 million square feet of renovated workspace, $150 million in transportation infrastructure improvements, public spaces, sports fields and green space. Today, Microsoft has 125 buildings in the Puget Sound region. When this project is complete, its main campus will be comprised of 131 buildings — including the equivalent of 180 football fields of new and renovated space — of modern workspace for the 47,000 employees who work there every day, plus room to expand operations and add up to 8,000 more people.
This project represents a significant investment by the company, will involve roughly 2,500 construction and development jobs, and will take five to seven years to complete. It’s an investment that’s good for its employees, good for the Puget Sound community, and makes good sense for shareholders. Micorsoft is not only creating a world-class work environment to help retain and attract the best and brightest global talent, but also building a campus that its neighbors can enjoy, and that it can build in a fiscally smart way with low environmental impact.
As Microsoft employees create the tools and services of the future workspace for its customers, it’s important it has a campus that reflects that future for themselves. It will create that workplace in part by applying its learnings from other recent campus redevelopment projects in Redmond, Vancouver B.C. and the Paddington office in London, and how it has enabled teams to collaborate, showcase its workspace and related technologies for customers and, most important, enhance the experience for employees. The new campus will be more open and less formal, divided into a series of “team neighborhoods” while capturing more natural light and fostering the type of creativity that will lead to ongoing innovation to advance the industry and benefit customers.
And while it transforms its workspace inside, it will renovate the exterior to create more opportunities to exercise, play and connect with nature for the people who work at Microsoft and those who live nearby. Its plans include a two-acre open plaza that will fit up to 12,000 people, running and walking trails, facilities for soccer and cricket and retail space.
Its new buildings will focus on inclusive design and accessible technology to empower all of its employees. The campus will be built for pedestrians and bikes with all cars moved to an underground parking facility. It will also build off the region’s smart investments in transportation by constructing a foot- and cyclist-only bridge across WA-520 that will connect both sides of its campus and tie into the future Redmond Technology Transit Station where Link Light Rail will arrive in 2023.
Redmond has been Microsoft’s home since 1986, and Microsoft is proud to be an active part of the Puget Sound community. Microsoft is committed to remaining a good neighbor and ensuring that its operations are run in a sustainable way. It prizes its relationship with the City of Redmond and will work closely with officials on the approval for campus and building architectural designs, engineering, building permit review and land use code compliance. As a Zero Waste Certified campus, it will continue to focus further on waste-reduction initiatives. It also will continue to fully fund transit options for employees, including ORCA transit cards, carpool and vanpool, and Microsoft-run employee Connector buses and other vehicles to supplement existing options. And it will continue to be Energy Smart, using Azure for building system monitoring to optimize its energy usage and reduce its carbon footprint.