New Digs: Microsoft Plans Multibillion-Dollar Headquarters Renovation

Urban campuses in the heart of bustling cities may be all the rage for tech companies these days, but Microsoft thinks it can create some of that modern city vibe without leaving its forested suburban campus.

The software giant is reiterating its commitment to its sprawling Redmond home with a massive multibillion-dollar campus renovation and expansion. The multiyear project is Microsoft's largest redevelopment to date, it said.

Over the next five to seven years, the company will construct 18 new buildings on the campus, which currently has 80. It will renovate several other buildings to give them a modern, open feel similar to the workplaces at Amazon, Google and other big tech companies.

Microsoft will replace 12 of its oldest one-office-per-person buildings and give a significant part of the campus a contemporary feel, allowing the company to expand the collaborative environment that it has been cultivating. Ten of the structures being replaced are the original X-shaped buildings that marked the early days of Microsoft in Redmond.

Microsoft will add about 2.5 million square feet in new construction and will renovate another 6.7 million square feet, primarily in the section of campus east of Highway 520, where many of the original buildings built in the mid-80s still stand.

The expansion will add about 1.3 million square feet to the 10 million-square-foot campus, after the 12 older buildings are torn down. When it's done, Microsoft will have room for 8,000 more employees to add to its 47,000-person head count in the Puget Sound region -- the vast majority of which work in Redmond.

"For us, it's not just about the ability to grow, but about the ability to take our campus into the future," Microsoft President Brad Smith said.

The company has already been renovating some buildings on campus to add open work spaces, gathering places and small conference...

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