Apple's Spaceship better look out, Microsoft is modernizing its headquarters too

Microsoft announces ambitious move to rebuild 500 acres Seattle HQ

Microsoft plans upgrade for Redmond headquarters

Microsoft is planning to build out its 500-acre campus in Redmond, Washington, with 18 new buildings, 6.7 million square feet of renovated workspace, United States dollars 150 million in transportation infrastructure improvements, public spaces, sports fields and green space. The project will take roughly 5-7 years to complete, and the first building will be ready in the first five years. Having been the bane of many Microsoft employee for their confusing corridors, it's unlikely they'll be missed. There are also plans for a local light rail to take workers to and from locations around the campus.

The developer of the Spring District, by the way, is Wright Runstad, which back in 1986 built the first six X-shaped buildings that will be replaced as part of this latest renovation.

"With 500 acres, we can construct a somewhat more urban feel to parts of our campus, while still taking advantage of the nature", he said.

Microsoft faces steep competition to recruit and keep employees as other tech giants continue to grow in the region and new, hip startups pop up every day. In contrast, Amazon said in September it was looking across North America for another city to host a second headquarters that would be a full equal to what it has built in the heart of Seattle. 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.

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The new additions will also be environmentally friendly.

Our new buildings will focus on inclusive design and accessible technology to empower all of our employees. But that setup also meant a lot of low ceilings and a lack of community spaces. The coming expansion will just about tap out that extra room.

Work on the campus overhaul will begin in fall 2018 and is expected to last up to seven years. They have already contributed more than $33-million toward the construction of a Sound Transit Station in Redmond.

Microsoft says that its Redmond HQ has been its home for more than three decades and "crown jewel".

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