Investing to grow right here at home

Nov 28, 2017   |   Brad Smith - President

Artist rendering shows the planned redevelopment, including the removal of 12 buildings and the construction of 18 new ones, along with open spaces and sports fields

At a time when space is at a premium and many companies are looking for room to grow, we recognize that our 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 we continue to grow and look to create the best workplace in the tech sector, Microsoft will invest right here in Redmond, our home for more than 30 years.

Next fall, we 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, our 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 here 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 our employees, good for the Puget Sound community, and makes good sense for our shareholders. We are 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 our neighbors can enjoy, and that we can build in a fiscally smart way with low environmental impact.

As our employees create the tools and services of the future workspace for our customers, it’s important they have a campus that reflects that future for themselves. We will create that workplace in part by applying our learnings from our other recent campus redevelopment projects in Redmond, Vancouver B.C. and the Paddington office in London, and how they have enabled teams to collaborate, showcase our workspace and related technologies for customers and, most importantly, enhance the experience for employees. Our 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 our customers.

And while we transform our workspace inside, we 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. Our plans include a 2-acre open plaza that will fit up to 12,000 people, running and walking trails, facilities for soccer and cricket, and retail space.

Our new buildings will focus on inclusive design and accessible technology to empower all of our employees. The campus will be built for pedestrians and bikes with all cars moved to an underground parking facility. We 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 our 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 we are proud to be an active part of the Puget Sound community. Microsoft is committed to remaining a good neighbor and ensuring that our operations are run in a sustainable way. We prize our 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 we will continue to focus further on waste-reduction initiatives. We’ll also 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 we will continue to be Energy Smart, using Azure for building system monitoring to optimize our energy usage and reduce our carbon footprint.

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. As our plans and work on this exciting project progress, we look forward to keeping you updated on our journey.

 

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