Similar to Amazon, Microsoft is also planning to expand its headquarters. However, the software giant is not developing a new campus altogether, rather it is planning a significant modernization of its Redmond headquarters, the company told employees on Tuesday, in a post.
Microsoft Redmond campus – what are the plans?
Microsoft plans a multibillion-dollar overhaul of the Redmond campus, developing 18 new buildings by the end of 2024, its biggest physical expansion after more than a decade. As 18 new buildings would be constructed on the Microsoft Redmond Campus, 12 older buildings would be bulldozed. Microsoft’s Redmond campus, which opened in 1986, currently totals 15 million square feet in 125 buildings.
“Our goal is to build the most modern workplace, and create the best employee experience in our industry,” Microsoft President Brad Smith said in the post.
Microsoft has already informed the employees about the plans, and on Wednesday, the company would discuss the plans at the shareholders meeting. The project would take about five and seven years to complete.
In its current form, the Microsoft Redmond campus already has everything that one can think of. However, with the new buildings, the company plans to take a different approach. “There’s an opportunity to build a somewhat denser campus and create a somewhat more urban feel,” Smith said.
Smith noted that when the project concludes, there would be 131 buildings comprising 180 football fields, modern workspace to house 57,000 employees and additional space to accommodate around 8,000 more people. There would also be a community space for 8,000 to 12,000 people in an open-air plaza and outdoor areas for running and walking, green spaces and walking trails. Microsoft has around 47,000 workers in Washington State.
Microsoft stated that the redevelopment of the campus would create over 2,500 new construction and development jobs. Further, Smith told GeekWire that the company does not intend to offload any of its downtown Bellevue space or vacate the offices in Issaquah, where it recently renewed a big lease.
More interactive work environment
Usually, technology companies keep expanding their campus to integrate new technology. However, for Microsoft, which has been restructuring its operations lately, this new development is a sign that the company is regaining confidence under the new chief executive Satya Nadella.
It is clear that Nadella is looking to revive the work culture at Microsoft, making it a little more collaborative with employees coming out of the closed-door offices and working in a more interactive environment.
“We’ve focused on the cultural transformation of the company. We want to create a workspace that supports the culture we are creating,” Smith said.
Microsoft’s decision to modernize its existing headquarters comes at a time when Amazon is searching for another city for its second North American headquarters. However, the software giant is committed to its hometown. Nadella made his intentions clear that the company is not interested in seeking a new headquarters. In October, speaking at the GeekWire Summit, Nadella said the company is in no hurry to talk about any new second headquarters and is happy with where they are in Redmond.
On Tuesday, Microsoft shares closed up 1.20% at $84.88.