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Expedia’s new Seattle HQ comes with playfields, food trucks, and a bike mechanic

Expedia promotes that when its new Seattle campus opens in 2019, it will have acres of outdoor space, including playfields, an amphitheater, and an onsite bike mechanic. The building itself will be lined with giant glass walls for views of Puget Sound and all the outdoor activity.

“Our employees spend tens of millions of hours a year making it possible for travelers around the world to find their perfect destination,” said Mark Nagle, Vice President of Global Real Estate, Expedia Group. “We intend to make our new headquarters the ideal workplace destination for our employees, a landing-place where Expedia Group employees can bring their passion for travel and tech to do their very best work.”

Expedia released graphics and other information for its anticipated new Seattle headquarters. The newest designs align with previous plans. For years, the online travel company has expected to move from its Bellevue HQ to Seattle’s Interbay neighborhood, along the waterfront. More than 4,500 employees will relocate — there’s room for 5,000. The move is expected to start in the fall of 2019.

“Truly one-of-a-kind, the 40-acre campus is surrounded by the natural environment which will serve as a constant source of inspiration for current and future employees who are committed to our purpose of bringing the world within reach,” Nagle said.

Expedia Seattle campus

Windows at the new building will be about 11 feet tall, allowing natural light to fill much of the office space. Included in the new campus is market hall, which the company says will offer a “diverse range of healthy eating options and social gathering spaces, as well as onsite food trucks.”

Expedia

Outdoor areas will be covered by Wi-Fi signals for employees, which include the amphitheater and playfields. Expedia plans to use the natural spaces for events, trainings, lunches and other uses. This is part of a “biophilic design” that Expedia focused on, which aims to connect people and nature.

The campus will also include other gathering spaces and quiet areas. There will be a workout facility, showers and changing rooms. There will also be storage for more than 400 bikes, giving the onsite bike mechanic plenty to work with.

“Our design thinking goes beyond capturing what makes travel special, to reflect the data-obsessed learning culture that’s core to how we operate,” Nagle said. “We study how our employees and visitors use office spaces around the world to uncover first-rate design choices to meet the needs of our evolving global working habits. Coupling this data with our obsession with user-centricity, we’re creating work spaces that balance our employees’ needs of a warm and inviting campus, with the flexibility to remain nimble, innovative and ready for the future.”

The company notes that it will offer transportation programs for its employees, including shuttle service from Eastside transit hubs, where Expedia is currently based. It will also offer employees ORCA cards for transit.

Expedia purchased the 40-acre, former Amgen campus on the shores of Elliott Bay for $228.9 million. The four-story, 600,000 square-foot building is sustainable LEED-certified. It will be added to the existing buildings on the campus. There will be 2,670 parking places (1,440 are new, the rest already exist on the campus).

This is the first phase for Expedia’s expansion into Seattle. Other phases are planned over the next 15 years, adding 730,000 square feet of office space, and 630 parking spaces.

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