Microsoft will embark on a significant modernization of its global headquarters, with a goal of 18 new buildings by the end of 2024. It will be the company’s biggest physical expansion in more than a decade.
Microsoft announced the development to employees Tuesday evening. It is discussing the plans at the shareholders meeting in Bellevue Wednesday.
“Our goal is to build the most modern workplace, and create the best employee experience in our industry,” Microsoft President Brad Smith said.
Microsoft did not identify how many company jobs it estimates would be created as a result of its campus expansion project. The construction work is expected to create 2,500 temporary jobs during the 5-7 year window when construction is at its peak.
The 18 new buildings will be constructed on the East Redmond campus, and over time, workers will demolish 12 older buildings. The new development will also include a 12,000 person open plaza event space.
“Our employees live here. They work here. They send kids to school here. They play here,” Smith said. “We are so proud to be a part of this community.”
Construction work will also yield facilities geared toward lifestyle, like running and walking trails, athletic facilities and green space. Microsoft is contributing $33.3 million to Sound Transit for construction of the Redmond Technology Center transit station, which is expected to open in 2023 in conjunction with ST2. Microsoft’s contribution helps fund a pedestrian and bike overpass, linking the station to the campus.
King County Executive Dow Constantine after the announcement:
“Microsoft’s bold investment in 2.5 million square feet of new office space demonstrates the company’s clear understanding that this is the best place in the nation to grow. For more than 30 years, Microsoft has fueled a regional economy built on knowledge, innovation, and creativity. With this major new investment in its Redmond campus, Microsoft strengthens its partnership with King County, it’s commitment to Central Puget Sound, and our future as a leading global technology center.”
“Microsoft has always been a great partner, and the city is excited that they will continue to call Redmond home,” said Redmond Mayor John Marchione. “The reimagining of the Microsoft campus highlights their global leadership in technology and strengthens both Redmond’s and the regions reputation as a hub for ingenuity.”
In an apparent rebuke to Amazon’s search for a second North American headquarters outside of Seattle, Smith doubled down on Microsoft’s footprint in western Washington.
“This investment underscores Microsoft’s commitment to Puget Sound,” Smith said. “We only have one headquarters. This is it. Puget Sound is our home.”
Microsoft employs more than 47,000 people in Washington state, most of whom are based in Redmond. By comparison, the city of Redmond has an estimated population of 62,458, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.