Microsoft plans upgrade for Redmond headquarters

Above Rendering of Microsoft's campus renovation

Above Rendering of Microsoft's campus renovation

MICROSOFT LIKES big campuses and it can not lie, which is why its re-building its Seattle headquarters to fit in an extra 8,000 workers. Apple Inc. opened its sprawling new main campus in Cupertino, California, earlier this year, while now looking for a city to host a second headquarters projected to cost more than $5 billion. With Apple's new UFO campus just completed, and Amazon running a weird version of The Batchelorette where cities compete for a multi-billion-dollar headquarters, Microsoft was left feeling all left out.

Microsoft plans upgrade for Redmond headquarters
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All cars will go to an underground parking facility so that the campus remains open for bikes and pedestrians.

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When all is said and done, Microsoft President Brad Smith says 6.7 million square feet would have been renovated on the campus creating 2,500 construction jobs. It says its project will include renovations and new construction and will take five to seven years. Its plan is to build on existing ground and add capacity for an additional 8,000 staff members along with creating more open spaces in the process.

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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. Having been the bane of many Microsoft employee for their confusing corridors, it's unlikely they'll be missed. 12 buildings will be torn down and replaced with 18 new ones, bringing the campus to a total of 131 buildings. The campus will be divided into "team neighborhoods". That would enable Microsoft to raise the headcount at Redmond to a staggering 55,000 employees. However, with the new buildings, the company plans to take a different approach. This bridge will also connect to the upcoming Redmond Technology Transit Station, which will welcome Link Light Rail in 2023. The 18 new buildings part of the overhaul will be Energy-Smart Buildings that utilize Azure to monitor the building system and energy usage optimization, according to the company.

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"With 500 acres, we can construct a somewhat more urban feel to parts of our campus, while still taking advantage of the nature", he said.

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