Microsoft’s office is getting a makeover. But unlike Amazon, it doesn’t need a second headquarters in order to excel.
The tech giant announced today that its Redmond, Washington HQ will undergo a multi-billion dollar renovation starting in fall 2o18. The so-called “campus refresh” project will include 18 new buildings, almost seven million square feet of renovated workspace, and $150 million in transportation infrastructure improvements.
Microsoft’s new and improved headquarters will also feature public areas such as running and walking trails, soccer and cricket fields and retail space. These amenities will be housed in a two acre open air plaza that will hold up to 12,000 people.
Once the project is completed, Microsoft’s total Redmond footprint will consist of 131 buildings and the equivalent of 180 football fields of new and renovated space. The campus will include space for up to 55,000 employees—Microsoft currently employs 47,000 people in the Redmond area.
Microsoft didn’t put an exact price tag on the project, but said it would create 2,500 construction jobs and take five to seven years to complete.
“We are not only creating a world-class work environment to help retain and attract the best and brightest global talent, but also building a campus that our neighbors can enjoy, and that we can build in a fiscally smart way with low environmental impact,” Microsoft president Brad Smith wrote in a blog post.
As part of this new green focus, the campus will be built for pedestrians and bikes. Cars will be stored in an underground parking facility.
Microsoft’s renewed commitment to Washington (where it’s been based since 1986) stands in stark contrast to its Seattle neighbor Amazon. Jeff Bezos’ behemoth whipped America into a frenzy this year when it announced plans for a second North American headquarters which would bring 50,000 jobs to the chosen area. Cities as big as New York and as small as Stonecrest, Georgia promised tax breaks to Amazon in slick video pitches.
Microsoft did not respond to an Observer request for comment.