Microsoft says it’s overhauling its long-time headquarters with an 18-building construction project that will make room for another 8,000 workers.
The announcement came ahead of the company’s annual shareholders meeting Wednesday.
Microsoft’s decision to expand on the footprint of its campus in Redmond, Washington, its home since 1986, is in contrast to the highly-publicised office expansion plans of Seattle-based Amazon.
Brad Smith, Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer, made the announcement in a blog post on Wednesday, saying, “At a time when space is at a premium and many companies are looking for room to grow, we recognise that our 500-acre campus in Redmond, Washington, is a unique asset. Neighbouring 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.”
Amazon has been looking at cities across North America for a spot to build a second headquarters that will be as big at its Seattle hub.
Microsoft’s current Redmond campus employs about 47,000 people in 125 buildings. The company says its project will include renovations and new construction and will take 5 to 7 years.
It’s also promising $150 million in transportation improvements and other public amenities.
Smith elaborates, “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.”